18 Dec 2009

Provision at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre had deteriorated since the last inspection and arrangements for children and single women were wholly unacceptable, said Dame Anne Owers, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced short follow-up inspection of the centre at Gatwick airport.

Lisa Nandy, Policy Adviser, The Children’s Society comments:
“This is a deeply disturbing report, especially as HMIP found in certain respects the situation had got worse for children since their last inspection, including on child protection. We are particularly concerned about length of time children are detained at Tinsley and the inadequacy of facilities for them at the centre. The level of care detained families have received falls well short of the standards required following the introduction of the duty on the UKBA to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.”

Amanda Shah, Assistant Director, Bail for Immigration Detainees comments:

“This damning report is further evidence that detention centres are no place for children. We have seen for ourselves the damaging effect that detention at Tinsley has had on families we have supported, and fully agree with HMIP that the children detained at Tinsley are 'poorly cared for' and held in conditions that are 'wholly unacceptable'. This report requires an urgent response from the Government to ensure that no other children are held in such an unsuitable environment”.

Notes to Editors:

A copy of the full report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website from 18 December 2009 at www.justice.gov.uk/inspectorates/hmi-prisons

Outcry! campaign
The Children’s Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees are currently campaigning to end the immigration detention of children and their families. Funded by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, we are campaigning together under the banner OutCry!

The Children’s Society
The Children's Society is a leading children's charity committed to making childhood better for all children in the UK. Visit www.childrenssociety.org.uk

Bail for Immigration Detainees
Bail for Immigration Detainees is a human rights charity challenging immigration detention in the UK. It provides free legal advice to detained asylum seekers and migrants to help them secure their release and it campaigns to end arbitrary detention. Visit www.biduk.org