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Detention Centres

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to introduce mobile detention vans operated by the UK Border Agency on a national basis. (225928)

The pilot of a mobile detention facility started in Northampton on 30 September and lasted for five weeks. The pilot covered the full range of operational scenarios our in-country enforcement officers face to test the facility's usefulness and how it complements, or adds to the existing fleet of vehicles available to the United Kingdom Border Agency.

The benefits will be assessed to determine whether the United Kingdom Border Agency wants to deploy additional vehicles of this specification in the future.

The mobile detention facility itself was adapted for this pilot from this existing fleet of vehicles, and on completion of the pilot it will continue to be available for operational tasking as required on a national basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many sites her Department has identified as suitable for alternative to detention programmes for asylum seeking families; and when she expects those sites to become operational. (227551)

[holding answer 20 October 2008]: One site in Scotland has already been identified as suitable for a future A2D pilot and the location and start date will be announced when contractual negotiations are complete.