Government response

UKBA responds to allegations of mistreatment on a deportation flight

UKBA has responded to the Guardian newspaper following publication of footage of an illegal immigrant being returned to their home country.

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

Enforced returns are a vital part of the government’s immigration policy. The UK Border Agency will enforce the return of those with no legal right to be in the UK who refuse to leave voluntarily.


In a statement the UK Border Agency has made clear it will investigate any inappropriate use of restraint used on the flight if the footage demonstrates that this was the case.
David Wood, strategic director, criminality and detention for UK Border Agency said: ‘We take any allegation of mistreatment by our contractors extremely seriously. We will look at this footage carefully.
‘According to the contractor’s records, the detainee had become violent and non-compliant before the flight took off and trained escorts took the decision to use restraint in line with agreed procedures.  A previous attempted removal had already failed due to his disruptive and violent behaviour.  
‘He was accompanied on the flight by medics who examined him during the flight and found no injuries as a result of the restraint.  No complaint was ever received from him, his legal representatives, the airline or any passenger on the flight following this removal more than a year ago.’

Published 22 October 2010