Prisons (HMIP) reports into five immigration removal centres in the
IND estate, (Campsfield House, Haslar, Lindholme, Oakington Reception
Centre and Tinsley House), Home Office minister Beverley Hughes
'Immigration removal centres are a key part of our radical asylum
reforms to put in place an effective end to end process. They are
essential to ensure effective immigration control and speedy removal
of those who have no right to be here.
'We are committed to ensuring that detainees are treated with respect
and decency, and have put in place the process for an independent
inspection of immigration removal centres to ensure a transparent
inspection regime to ensure this. These reports are the first of
their kind and we welcome them.
'The inspectorate have made a number of detailed recommendations to
which we will give careful consideration. However, a large proportion
of the findings reflect only the comments of the detainees
themselves. As people are generally unhappy about being detained and
removed from the country, it is unsurprising that they express
dissatisfaction with their situation.
'The reports also recommend that children should not be detained for
more than seven days. I am deeply sympathetic to the concerns about
the detention of children, which whilst regrettable, is at times
essential. However, no one, including families, is detained for
longer than necessary.
'It is completely impractical to suggest a time limit - which would
enable people to evade removal by lodging last minute and time-
'The inspections were conducted shortly after Haslar and Lindholme
were redesignated and since then there has been a gradual process of
improvement. However, we will look carefully at the recommendations
to ensure they are fully complying with the standards set elsewhere.'
1. Powe r for Her Majesty's Chief Inspectorate of Prisons to inspect
immigration removal centres is in section 152(5) of the Immigration
and Asylum Act 1999.
2. HMCIP were invited to inspect Tinsley House Immigration Removal
Centre in August 1997. This is the only previous inspection by HMCIP
of immigration establishments.
3. These five inspections were carried out during February and March