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Immigration: Detention

Volume 707: debated on Thursday 12 February 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many persons are in immigration or asylum detention; and how many have been in detention for (a) under six months; (b) six months to one year; (c) one year to 18 months; (d) 18 months to two years; (e) two to three years; and (f) over three years. [HL1178]

As at 27 September 2008, a total of 2,415 persons were recorded as being detained within the UK Border Agency detention estate solely under Immigration Act powers; of these, 1,690 had sought asylum at some stage. These figures are rounded to the nearest five. This is the latest date for which published statistics are available.

Information on how long these individuals have been detained for is not held centrally and would be available only through the detailed examination of individual case files at disproportionate cost.

Statistics on all persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers by length of detention are not available after September 2006. Information up to that date for each year is available from the Library of the House and in Table 9.4 of each year’s Asylum Statistics: United Kingdom publication from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:

A robust new method for calculating the length of time detainees are held solely under Immigration Act powers is currently being formulated. This is currently undergoing quality assurance before the statistics can be published on a regular basis.