Skip to main content

Detention Centres

Volume 507: debated on Wednesday 17 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum-seeking families from (a) Afghanistan, (b) the Democratic Republic of Congo and (c) Somalia have been detained at (i) Dungavel House, (ii) Tinsley House and (iii) Yarl's Wood in each of the last six years. (321095)

The information is not held centrally and could only be provided by checking individual records over the period requested at a disproportionate cost.

Published National Statistics on the number of adults and children held in detention solely under Immigration Act powers on a snapshot basis are published quarterly and are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the capacity is at (a) Dungavel House, (b) Tinsley House and (c) Yarl's Wood for detainees; and whether that capacity has ever been reached in each case. (321096)

The capacities at each of the named centres are:

(a) Dungavel House

197 single males, 14 single females, six family beds in two rooms

(b) Tinsley House

116 single males, five single females, 25 family beds in four rooms

(c) Yarl’s Wood.

284 single females, 121 family beds in 60 rooms

Dungavel House, Tinsley House and Yarl's Wood are managed as part of the UK Border Agency detention estate and not in isolation. The estate is managed to ensure maximum utilisation of beds. In 2008-09, an average of 95 per cent. of male and female beds were occupied at any one time. This is based on management information only which has not been subject to the detailed checks that apply for National Statistics publications. This information is provisional and subject to change.

Due to the configuration of the family accommodation, it is highly unlikely that overall capacity has ever been reached in any of these centres.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff employed at (a) Dungavel House, (b) Tinsley House and (c) Yarl's Wood have not had a Criminal Records Bureau check completed. (321097)

Detainee custody and escorting officers are checked by the Criminal Records Bureau before they are employed to work in Immigration Removal Centres.

In very exceptional cases where an individual is required to fill a critical post, they may be employed pending clearance.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times staff have been employed at (a) Dungavel House, (b) Tinsley House and (c) Yarl's Wood before completion of their Criminal Records Bureau check in each of the last six years. (321098)

It is not possible to provide a full response to this question without examining individual records at disproportionate cost. The current process is that all staff at immigration removal centres and those performing escorting functions (detention escorting officers) who have detainee contact are checked by the Criminal Record Bureau before they are employed. It is possible that in the past we may have employed essential staff in very exceptional circumstances, without CRB clearance, however these individuals are accompanied by a fully cleared member of staff whilst undertaking their duties and do not have free access to the removal centre or lone access to individuals detained.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) families, (b) children aged under 18, (c) children aged under 16 and (d) children aged under 10 have been transferred from Dungavel House to Yarl's Wood in each of the last six years. (321108)

The following number of families, including children aged under 18, children aged under 16 and children aged under 10 were transferred from Dungavel House to Yarls Wood:

Number of family transfers

Children under 18

Children under 16

Children under 10

Not Known

2010 (Jan-Feb)

5

2

3

0

5

2009

36

1

10

35

31

2008 (Nov-Dec):

9

1

4

5

5

It is not possible to obtain any escorting statistics prior to November 2008 as the information requested could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual records at disproportionate costs.

The figures above are normally used for management information only. They have not been subject to the detailed checks that apply for national statistics publications. These figures are provisional and are subject to change.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of detention at (a) Dungavel House, (b) Tinsley House and (c) Yarl's Wood was for (i) a family, (ii) an individual, (iii) children aged under 18, (iv) children aged under 16 and (v) children aged under 10 in each year since 2004. (321109)

The information is not held centrally and could only be provided by checking individual records.

Published National Statistics on the number of adults and children held in detention solely under Immigration Act powers on a snapshot basis are published quarterly and are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) families, (b) children aged under 18, (c) children aged under 16 and (d) children aged under 10 have been detained at (i) Dungavel House, (ii) Tinsley House and (iii) Yarl's Wood in 2010. (321110)

Local management information indicates that the following number of families and children have been detained at the removal centres between 1 January 2010 and 6 March 2010:

Dungavel House

Tinsley House

Yarl's Wood

Families

6

18

107

Children aged under 18

11

18

140

Children aged under 16

9

16

130

Children aged under 10

3

12

94

Notes:

1. Families may include families with or without children

2. Figures for children are cumulative

3. Some families and children may be recorded more than once if, for example, they have been detained at more than one removal centre during 2010.

The figures provided do not constitute part of national statistics as they are based on management information. This information has not been quality assured under national statistics protocols and should be treated as provisional national statistics on children detained solely under Immigration Act powers on a snapshot basis are published quarterly. The information is published in the Control of Immigration:

Quarterly Statistical Summary, United Kingdom bulletins which are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) families, (b) children aged under 18, (c) children aged under 16 and (d) children aged under 10 were detained at (i) Dungavel House, (ii) Tinsley House and (iii) Yarl's Wood in each year since 2004. (321111)

The information is not held centrally and could only be provided by checking individual records.

National Statistics on children detained solely under Immigration Act powers on a snapshot basis are published quarterly. The information is published in the Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary, United Kingdom bulletins which are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the staff to detainee ratio was at each UK immigration removal centre in each of the last six years. (321184)

We do not hold annual staff: detainee ratios. However, we are able to establish what those ratios were at commencement of the contracts for each immigration removal centres and the current position.

The following table sets out ratios for detainee custody officers and does not include managers, supervisors or support staff.

Contract commencement

Current

Brook House

4:30

4:30

Campsfield House

2:65

2:65

Colnbrook

2:27

3:44

Dungavel

4:04

4:09

Harmondsworth

2:19

2:16

Oakington

n/a

2:53

Tinsley House

2:12

2:12

Yarl’s Wood

4:05

4:05

n/a = Not available

Staff ratios are affected by a range of different factors such as the type of regime operated and the number of anticipated receptions and discharges per day.

The data do not include the three centres operated by the Prison Service.

The figures above are normally used for management information only. They have not been subject to the detailed checks that apply for National Statistics publications. These figures are provisional and are subject to change.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what ministerial visits have been made to (a) Dungavel House, (b) Tinsley House and (c) Yarl's Wood in each of the last 10 years; and what such ministerial visits are planned for 2010. (321185)

I visited Yarl's Wood in November 2008 and more recently, Dungavel House, in December 2009.

Whilst Tinsley House has operated as an immigration removal centre since 1996, Dungavel House did not open until September 2001 and Yarl's Wood originally opened in November 2001, but was closed between February 2002 and September 2003.

I can confirm the following visits by Home Office Ministers to:-

(a) Dungavel House:

The hon. Member for Birmingham Hodge Hill in 2008.

The Member for Harrow East in 2005.

The Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun and the hon. Member for Sheffield Brightside in 2004.

The Member for Stretford and Urmston in 2003 and Lord Foulkes of Cumnock in 2002.

(b) Tinsley House:

The Member for Harrow East in 2005

(c) Yarl's Wood:

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary in February 2010.

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary under Secretary of State for the Home Office, the Member for Hackney South and Shoreditch , in March 2010.

The information above is taken from local management information and is therefore provisional and subject to change.

I am unable to disclose information about planned ministerial visits for reasons of security.