National Statistics

Detention

Published 27 August 2015

Valid: 27 August 2015 to 25 November 2015

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The figures in this topic brief relate to the number of people entering, leaving or in detention, solely under Immigration Act powers, at immigration removal centres (IRCs), short-term holding facilities (STHFs) and pre-departure accommodation (PDA).

All data below relate to the year ending June 2015 and all comparisons are with the year ending June 2014, unless indicated otherwise.

1. Key facts

The number of people entering detention in the year ending June 2015 increased by 10% to 32,053 from 29,122 in the previous year. Over the same period there was a similar increase of 9% in those leaving detention (from 29,055 to 31,628).

There was a continuing decline in the proportion of detainees being removed on leaving detention from the most recent peak in the year ending March 2011 of 64% to 49% in the year ending June 2015. Conversely, there was an increase in the proportion of detainees granted temporary admission or release, from 28% to 40%, and an increase in the proportion of detainees granted bail, from 6% to 9%, over the same periods.

As at the end of June 2015, 3,418 people were in detention, 11% higher than the number recorded at the end of June 2014 (3,079). An expected increase in the size of the detention estate due to the opening of The Verne IRC in September 2014 has been partially counteracted by the closure of Haslar IRC in April 2015.

In the second quarter of 2015, 38 children entered detention and 39 children left. There were no children in detention as at 30 June 2015.

People entering, leaving and in detention, solely under Immigration Act powers

Year Entering detention Leaving detention In detention (1)
Year ending June 2011 26,301 26,411 2,685
Year ending June 2012 28,239 27,887 2,993
Year ending June 2013 29,708 29,357 3,142
Year ending June 2014 29,122 29,055 3,079
Year ending June 2015 32,053 31,628 3,418
Change: latest year +2,931 +2,573 +339
Percentage change +10% +9% +11%

Table notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics April to June 2015, Detention tables dt 01 q, dt 05 q and dt 11 q.
(1) The “in detention” figures are as at the end of June in each year.

2. Length of detention

During the year ending June 2015, 31,628 people left detention. Of these, 62% had been in detention for less than 29 days, 18% for between 29 days and two months and 12% for between two and four months. Of the 2,343 (7%) remaining, 187 had been in detention for between one and two years and 29 for two years or longer.

Over a third (36%) of people leaving detention had been detained for seven days or less (11,383). Of these, 5,581 (49%) were removed, 5,524 (49%) were granted temporary admission or release, 88 (1%) were granted leave to enter or remain and 87 (1%) were bailed. Of the 216 detained for 12 months or more, 38% were removed, 38% were bailed and 20% were granted temporary admission or release.

3. Children in detention

The number of children entering detention in the year ending June 2015 fell to 155 from 191 in the previous year. This was an 86% fall compared with the beginning of the data series in 2009 (1,119).

In the second quarter of 2015, 38 children entered detention, compared with 27 in the second quarter of 2014 and 45 in the second quarter of 2013. Of the 38 children, 17 were initially detained at Tinsley House (Family Unit) IRC, 15 at Cedars PDA and 6 at other IRCs and STHFs.

Of the 39 children leaving detention in the second quarter of 2015, only 4 were removed from the UK and 35 were granted temporary admission, temporary release or unconditional release. Of those leaving detention, 29 had been detained for less than four days, 9 for between four and seven days and 1 for between 15 and 28 days. The number of children removed from the UK on leaving detention has ranged from 2 out of 24 (8%) in the second quarter of 2011 to 23 out of 37 (62%) in the third quarter of 2011 and currently in this quarter 4 out of 39 (10%). There were no children in detention as at 30 June 2015.

Children entering detention, solely under Immigration Act powers

The chart shows the number of children entering detention between the first quarter of 2010 and the latest quarter.  The data are available in Table dt 02 q.

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics April to June 2015, Detention table dt 02 q.
(1) Oakington Reception Centre closed on 12 November 2010; Yarl’s Wood closed to families with children on 16 December 2010.
(2) Cedars PDA opened on 17 August 2011. From the third quarter of 2011, all child detainees in Tinsley House are shown in Tinsley House IRC. From January 2013 child detainees in Tinsley House IRC, as part of a family, are shown in Tinsley House (Family Unit) IRC; the remainder are shown in Other IRC/STHF.
(3) Tinsley House IRC closed to new entrants from 18 January to 20 March 2013 due to an infectious illness.

4. Immigration detainees in prisons

As at 29 June 2015 there were 373 detainees held in prison establishments in England and Wales solely under immigration powers as set out in the Immigration Act 1971 or UK Borders Act 2007.

5. Data tables

Further data on detention are available in Detention tables dt 01 to dt 13 q.