Campsfield House immigration removal centre to close

By Agencies
November 11, 2018

On 9 November 2018 the Home Office announced that Campsfield House immigration removal centre will close by May 2019. This closure will coincide with the end of the management contract with Mitie Care and Custody.

The Home Office announcement said, "The closure of the 282 bed centre is part of Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s commitment to cut the number of people detained at any given time and improve the welfare of detainees. These reforms were announced in response to Stephen Shaw’s review into welfare of vulnerable people in detention. By next summer, the Home Office will aim to reduce the immigration detention estate by almost 40 per cent since 2015."

Immigration detention is a practice the Refugee Council and others have long campaigned to end. Extensive research highlights the damaging effect detention can have on the health and wellbeing of those who experience it. Unlike many other countries, the UK currently imposes no limits on the length of time for which people can be detained.

Responding to the news, Dr Lisa Doyle, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council, said: “We warmly welcome the news today that Campsfield House immigration removal centre will close by May 2019. We are heartened that the Government is now listening to the concerns being raised by organisations and the people who have themselves experienced detention. Detention is extremely damaging to the lives of people seeking asylum, as well as costly and ineffective. Put simply, it should play no part in the asylum system.

“This news is a significant step in the right direction towards the full implementation of the Stephen Shaw review into immigration detention.

“We welcome the Home Office’s commitment to work with stakeholders to develop alternatives to detention, strengthen support for vulnerable detainees and increase transparency across the detention estate.”

* Read the Shaw Review into the Welfare in Detention of Vulnerable Persons here

* Read the Home Office announcement here

* Refugee Council https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/

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