National Statistics

Detention

Updated 3 March 2016

Detention Valid: 25 February 2016 to 25 May 2016

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

Back to ‘Immigration statistics October to December 2015’ content page.

1. Key facts

The number of people entering detention in 2015 increased by 7% to 32,446 from 30,364 in the previous year. Over the same period there was a 12% increase in those leaving detention (from 29,674 to 33,189).

There was a continuing decline in the proportion of detainees being removed or voluntarily departing the UK on leaving detention, from the most recent peak in the year ending March 2011 of 64% to 45% in 2015. Conversely, there was an increase in the proportion of detainees granted temporary admission or release, from 28% to 43%, and an increase in the proportion of detainees granted bail, from 6% to 10%, over the same periods.

As at the end of December 2015, 2,607 people were in detention, 25% lower than the number recorded at the end of December 2014 (3,462). The fall may be partially attributed to the closure of Dover IRC in October 2015 and changes to the detained fast track asylum process.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, 18 children entered detention and 20 children left. There were no children in detention as at 31 December 2015.

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

Year Entering detention Leaving detention In detention (1)
2011 27,089 27,181 2,419
2012 28,905 28,575 2,685
2013 30,418 30,030 2,796
2014 30,364 29,674 3,462
2015 32,446 33,189 2,607
Change: latest year +2,082 +3,515 -855
Percentage change +7% +12% -25%

Table notes

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

3. Children in detention

The number of children entering detention in 2015 was the same as in the previous year (128). This was an 89% fall compared with the beginning of the data series in 2009 (1,119).

In the fourth quarter of 2015, 18 children entered detention, compared with 44 in the fourth quarter of 2014 and 67 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Of the 18 children, 9 were initially detained at Tinsley House (Family Unit) immigration removal centre (IRC), 8 at Cedars pre-departure accommodation (PDA) and 1 at Yarl’s Wood IRC.

Of the 20 children leaving detention in the fourth quarter of 2015, 11 were removed from the UK and 9 were granted temporary admission, temporary release or unconditional release. Of those leaving detention, all 20 had been detained for three days or less. 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 11 out of 20 (55%). There were no children in detention as at 31 December 2015.

4. Children entering detention, solely under Immigration Act powers

The

Chart notes

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics October to December 2015, Detention table dt 02 q.

5. Length of detention

During 2015, 33,189 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 2,521 (8%) remaining, 255 had been in detention for between one and two years and 41 for two years or longer.

Over a third (35%) of people leaving detention had been detained for seven days or less (11,535). Of these, 5,669 (49%) were granted temporary admission or release, 5,588 (48%) were removed, 64 (1%) were bailed and 61 (1%) were granted leave to enter or remain. Of the 296 detained for 12 months or more, 39% were removed, 32% were bailed and 24% were granted temporary admission or release.

6. Immigration detainees in prisons

As at 4 January 2016 there were 418 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. People removed or who voluntarily departed from the UK on leaving detention, by removal or departure type

Of the 33,189 people leaving detention in 2015, 15,086 were removed or voluntarily departed from the UK. Of the 15,086 people removed or who voluntarily departed from the UK: 70% (10,540) were subject to enforced removal; 19% (2,824) were refused entry at port and detained whilst travel arrangements were made; and 10% (1,568) were voluntary departures, where once the individual has been detained, they have decided to leave the UK and have made their own travel arrangements.

People removed or who voluntarily departed from the UK on leaving detention, by removal or departure type (1)

Quarter Total removed or voluntarily departures on leaving detention Total enforced removals on leaving detention Total refused entry at port and subsequently departed on leaving detention Total voluntary departures on leaving detention Other removed or voluntary departures on leaving detention (2)
Q1 2015 3,760 2,752 622 367 19
Q2 2015 3,966 2,771 770 393 32
Q3 2015 3,565 2,421 728 379 37
Q4 2015 3,795 2,596 704 429 66
Total 15,086 10,540 2,824 1,568 154

Table notes

Source: This table is based on data from Table dt 11q in the Home Office, Immigration Statistics October to December 2015.
(1) Definitions of removal or departure types are contained in the user guide.
(2) Other removed or voluntary departures on leaving detention, includes aborted removals after the person has left the detention estate and data quality issues.

8. Data tables

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

9. 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).

9.1 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.