National Statistics

Detention

Published 26 November 2015

Valid: 26 November 2015 to 24 February 2016

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

Back to ‘Immigration statistics July to September 2015’ content page.

1. Key facts

The number of people entering detention in the year ending September 2015 increased by 11% to 32,741 from 29,491 in the previous year. Over the same period there was an 11% increase in those leaving detention (from 29,161 to 32,481).

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 47% in the year ending September 2015. The decline in the last quarter, July to September 2015, may be attributed to the cessation of the detained fast track process in July 2015. Conversely, there was an increase in the proportion of detainees granted temporary admission or release, from 28% to 42%, and an increase in the proportion of detainees granted bail, from 6% to 10%, over the same periods.

As at the end of September 2015, 3,531 people were in detention, 5% higher than the number recorded at the end of September 2014 (3,378).

In the third quarter of 2015, 31 children entered detention and 31 children left. There were 2 children in detention as at 30 September 2015.

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

Year Entering detention Leaving detention In detention (1)
Year ending September 2011 26,363 26,323 2,909
Year ending September 2012 28,702 28,479 3,091
Year ending September 2013 30,384 30,102 3,115
Year ending September 2014 29,491 29,161 3,378
Year ending September 2015 32,741 32,481 3,531
Change: latest year +3,250 +3,320 +153
Percentage change +11% +11% +5%

Table notes

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

3. Children in detention

The number of children entering detention in the year ending September 2015 increased slightly to 154 from 151 in the previous year. This was an 86% fall compared with the beginning of the data series in 2009 (1,119).

In the third quarter of 2015, 31 children entered detention, compared with 32 in the third quarter of 2014 and 72 in the third quarter of 2013. Of the 31 children, 14 were initially detained at Tinsley House (Family Unit) immigration removal centre (IRC), 7 at Cedars pre-departure accommodation (PDA) and 10 at other IRCs and short-term holding facilities (STHFs).

Of the 31 children leaving detention in the third quarter of 2015, 12 were removed from the UK and 19 were granted temporary admission, temporary release or unconditional release. Of those leaving detention, 17 had been detained for less than four days, 8 for between four and seven days, 1 for between 8 and 14 days, 3 for between 15 and 28 days and 2 for between 29 days and 2 months. The number of children removed from the UK on leaving detention has ranged from 2 out of 24 (8%) in the first quarter of 2011 to 23 out of 37 (62%) in the third quarter of 2011 and currently in this quarter 12 out of 31 (39%). There were 2 children in detention as at 30 September 2015.

4. Children entering detention, solely under Immigration Act powers

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Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics July to September 2015, Detention table dt 02 q.

5. Length of detention

During the year ending September 2015, 32,481 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 2,491 (8%) remaining, 221 had been in detention for between one and two years and 32 for two years or longer.

Over a third (35%) of people leaving detention had been detained for seven days or less (11,352). Of these, 5,531 (49%) were removed, 5,543 (49%) were granted temporary admission or release, 71 (1%) were granted leave to enter or remain and 74 (1%) were bailed. Of the 253 detained for 12 months or more, 38% were removed, 36% were bailed and 21% were granted temporary admission or release.

6. Immigration detainees in prisons

As at 28 September 2015 there were 409 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.

7. Data tables

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

8. Background information

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).

8.1 Migration Transparency Data webpage

A range of key input and impact indicators are currently published by the Home Office on the Migration Transparency Data webpage.