Holding centre staff lacking full checks

Staff who come into contact with children in some immigration
holding centres are not given
an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check.

In an inspection report on four centres, published last week,
chief inspector of prisons Anne Owers found there were no child
protection policies at Communications House in London, Lunar House
and Electric House in Croydon and Dallas Court in Manchester.

The centres, which hold people for short periods, are not
residential and are attached to immigration reporting centres. The
detainees include those who have been picked up in enforcement

The report adds that staff training in self-harm and suicide
prevention was lacking at all the centres. The unannounced
inspections were made from June to October last year.

Owers said provision at Dallas Court, which is used mainly as a
transit holding area for detainees being transferred between the
north and south of the UK, was “totally inadequate”.

The centre was cramped and a shabby room was used to hold men,
women and children. Owers said, although there was a good
relationship between custody staff at the centre and immigration
staff, who take people to the centre, there was insufficient
“oversight” of some of the detainees.

Immigration minister Des Browne said he would consider Owers’
report carefully.


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