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Dungavel Detention Centre

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of families held at Dungavel Detention Centre will be included in the pilot scheme to relocate those held at Dungavel to housing outside the centre. (232798)

[holding answer 3 November 2008]: The UK Border Agency is working with Glasgow city council, the Scottish Refugee Council, the Scottish Executive and other partners to develop an alternative to detention pilot for families in Scotland. The pilot has not yet started but the planning process is at an advanced stage and engagement with the wider external stakeholders community is currently taking place. The pilot will build up over time to allow us to learn and explore alternatives to detention and, I hope, therefore reduce the need for the enforced removals and detention of families by assisting them to make arrangements for voluntary departure. It is intended that the pilot will be up and running in early 2009.

Not all families will go through the pilot. But if it is successful in that more families that are here illegally leave the UK without the need to detain them, the Government will consider expanding the pilot further.

For families that are here illegally and refuse to consider the current options for leaving the UK under their own steam we have no option but to retain the ability to enforce their departure if they choose to defy our laws and the decisions of our independent courts.