Bishop of Durham asks about immigration detention

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 20th June 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked Her Majesty’s Government:

  • how many women have been detained at the Derwentside immigration removal centre since it opened on 28 December 2021.
  • how many women have been released into the community from the Derwentside immigration removal centre since it opened on 28 December 2021; and what support has been provided to help them access suitable accommodation.
  • how many women have been deported from the UK after residing at the Derwentside immigration removal centre.
  • how many in-person legal visits have taken place at Derwentside immigration removal centre since women were first detained there.

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): The Home Office publishes statistics on immigration detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release (opens in a new tab)’. This includes data on people:

Data on those entering detention, by place of detention, relate to the place of initial detention. Data on ‘in detention’ refers to the number of people in detention at the end of the period. An individual who moves from one part of the detention estate to another will not be counted as entering any subsequent place of detention. Last place of detention does not show where an individual spent their time in detention. In some cases, an individual may have spent a period of time detained elsewhere before being moved to their last place of detention.

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can make an application for support and accommodation whilst their application for asylum is being considered. All asylum seekers have access to a 24/7 AIRE (Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility) service provided for the Home Office by Migrant Help, where they can raise any concerns regarding accommodation or support services, and they can get information about how to obtain further support.

Detained individuals are advised of their right to legal representation, and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC).

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) operates free legal advice surgeries in IRCs in England. Individuals who are detained are entitled to receive up to 30 minutes of advice regardless of financial eligibility or the merits of their case. There is no restriction on the number of surgeries an individual may attend. If an individual who is detained requires substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid, full legal advice can be provided if the statutory legal aid means and merits criteria are met.

At Derwentside IRC there has been 6 in-person legal visits between 28 December 2021 and 7 June 2022. Legal visits can take place from legal providers attending under the Legal Aid Detained Duty Advice Scheme and other legal providers visiting their clients who are in detention. In line with Government advice on social distancing, during the pandemic, face to face legal visits were facilitated in exceptional circumstances, and only if other means of contact (Skype, telephone, email) were not feasible or appropriate. In light of changes to Government guidance, face to face legal visits can now be facilitated. Safe systems of work are in place to ensure the safety of detained individuals, onsite staff and visitors during these visits.





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