Yarl’s Wood inquiry ‘let detainees down’

Campaigners have criticised an official inquiry report into the
fire and riot at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre for
prioritising material loss over the risk to human life.

Emma Ginn, from the Campaign to Stop Arbitrary Detention at Yarl’s
Wood, said that the report’s recommendations did not seem to focus
on the dangers to people.

The inquiry report, published last week, found that the
government’s “unachievable” policy to deport high numbers of
unsuccessful asylum seekers had led to the disturbance.

Prisons and probation ombudsman Stephen Shaw said the target to
remove 30,000 unsuccessful asylum seekers and other illegal
immigrants led to the building being commissioned and constructed
at a “record pace” and ending up not fit for purpose.

He said an everyday incident involving a middle-aged female
detainee had led to the riot in February 2002, three months after
the centre had opened, and that “better handling” of the incident
might have prevented the disturbance.

Inquiry report from www.ind.home office.gov.uk

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