As the UK Home Office plans to more than double the capacity of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre in Oxfordshire, IDC member, the Detention Forum, is calling for a moratorium on the detention expansion.
Over the last 12 months, UK immigration detention capacity has increased by 25%. Over 4,000 detention bed spaces are now available in eleven prison-like Immigration Removal Centres scattered across the country. An extra 800 detention bed spaces have already been created in 2014, and the government has just announced a plan to double the size of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Center in Oxfordshire.
“This expansion of the detention estate is taking place away from public and political scrutiny. Detention is harmful and expensive,” says the Detention Forum. “The UK’s practice of detention, and the lack of a time limit, has been repeatedly criticised by various national and international observers. There is an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into the use of immigration detention, which is yet to report its recommendations.”
The Detention Forum is calling for a moratorium on the detention expansion, urges the Immigration Minister to withdraw the Campsfield House planning application and asks the detention inquiry panel members and others to work towards providing parliamentary scrutiny of the Government’s detention expansion plan. The current system needs a radical reform, not expansion.
The Detention Forum calls on others to contact their MPs in the UK to put a stop to this ill-advised move by the Home Office.(The Detention Forum’s briefing paper and a sample letter to MPs can be found below.)