Personal Immigration

MPs call for better monitoring of enforced removals contracts

In a recent report, the Home Affairs Committee has criticised the UK Border Agency's management of the processes for the enforced removal of those who are being deported from the UK.

The inquiry, launched following the death of Jimmy Mubenga on a deportation flight from the UK, found that although there were some positive aspects of the process, which is carried out on the UK Border Agency's behalf by a private security contractor, (initially G4S and, since 1 May 2011, Reliance Security) the Committee found evidence of:

  • Inappropriate use of physical restraint, and the possible use of unauthorised and potentially dangerous restraint techniques.
  • Weaknesses in passing on information about detainees’ medical conditions to all the relevant staff.
  • Use of racist language by contractors.
  • Use of excessive numbers of contactor staff.

The Committee recommends that the UK Border Agency should strengthen its procedures so that its own staff feel that they are entitled and expected to challenge any poor conduct on the part of contractors.

The Committee also rejects the practice of taking detainees to the airport as "reserves" in case another detainee is taken off a removal flight at the last minute.

To strengthen safeguards against the ill treatment of prisoners, the Committee recommends that members of the Independent Monitoring Boards for immigration removal centres—or a similar independent monitoring network—be given access to chartered removal flights.

Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v1.0.

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