News story

Response to Gatwick centre inspection

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

UK Border Agency accepts broad conclusions of Gatwick immigration removal centre inspection, but says improvements have already been made.

We are extremely disappointed with this report, but accept its broad conclusions,’ said UK Border Agency’s David Wood in response to a report released today into an immigration removal centre at Gatwick airport.

The annual report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons looked at Brook House centre and is based on an inspection that took place from 15 to 19 March 2010. It identified, among other issues, a drug problem and evidence of staff being bullied by detainees.

Swift action

David Wood, strategic director for criminality and detention for the UK Border Agency said: ’We are extremely disappointed with this report, but accept its broad conclusions. That is why we have acted so swiftly to implement the vast majority of the improvements recommended.

‘Since the inspection, we have introduced an anti-bullying policy and additional support for staff, including designated mentors. We are also developing a comprehensive drugs strategy for the estate to supplement the intelligence-led approach we have to preventing drugs coming in and being used in the centre.

‘We are continuing to build excellent working relationships with the local police which have already led to a number of drugs prosecutions.
 
‘The vast majority of detainees in Brook House have committed very serious crimes, including drugs, sex and violent offences. The centre therefore faces a number of challenges on a daily basis. We are absolutely committed to meeting these challenges and the remaining improvements will be made in the next few months.’