Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre “safe”, inspection report finds

Conditions for immigration detainees at Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre were found to be “reasonably safe and respectful,” by the chief inspector of prisons less than five months before rioting broke out.

Inspectors found “little evidence” of bullying and said people at risk of self-harm were “reasonably” cared for at the centre, near Oxford, at the time of the inspection between 30 October and 3 November last year.

While accommodation, relationships between staff and detainees and health services were satisfactory, concerns were raised over a lack of purposeful activity for detainees including education and work, the inspection report published today said.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate caseworkers did not always respond adequately to detainee claims of torture in their home countries.

A general shortage of experienced on-site immigration officers also meant people had “limited access” to information, leading to an increase in detainee’s uncertainty and anxiety about their situation, the report said.

In March this year, seven staff and two inmates were taken to hospital during rioting at the centre, near Oxford, over the attempted deportation of a detainee.

Several detainees threatened staff and started fires in an attempt to obstruct the removal.

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