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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-october-to-december-2017/how-many-people-are-detained-or-returned
Data relate to 2017 and all comparisons are with 2016, unless indicated otherwise.
This section contains data on:
- individuals held in immigration detention (solely under Immigration Act powers), which show those detained in immigration removal centres (IRCs), short-term holding facilities (STHF), pre-departure accommodation (PDA) and HM Prisons (from July 2017)
- returns of people, by the Home Office, who do not have any legal right to stay in the UK
We provide a more detailed commentary on an annual basis. This is included in ‘Immigration Statistics, April to June 2017’.
1. Key facts
In 2017, 27,331 individuals entered the detention estate (down 5% compared with the previous year) and 28,244 left the detention estate (down 2%).
At the end of December 2017, there were 2,138 persons held in the detention estate (excluding HM Prisons), a fall of 22% compared with 12 months earlier. Additionally, 407 individuals were held in HM Prisons.
The number of EU nationals who were returned, or voluntarily departed the UK on leaving detention, was 4,612 in 2017, compared with 4,048 in the previous year.
The total number of enforced returns from the UK, including those not directly from detention, decreased by 1% to 12,321 in 2017 compared with 12,469 in the previous year.
Provisional data show that 5,835 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) were returned in 2017 down 5% compared to 6,171 in the previous year; of these:
- 67% were EU nationals (3,881)
- 33% were non-EU nationals (1,954)
From July 2017, data on detention of immigration detainees in prisons are included in the immigration detentions figures. Previously, individuals who were detained in prison would have been recorded in the data upon entering the detention estate through an IRC, STHF or PDA; now they will be recorded upon entering immigration detention within prison. Data from Q3 2017 onwards are not directly comparable with earlier data. Further details of these changes can be found in the user guide.
In the second half of 2017, 13,554 people entered the detention estate; of these, 1,671 (12%) entered through prisons.
As at the end of December 2017, there were 2,138 people in the detention estate. In addition, 407 immigration detainees were held in HM Prisons.
People entering, leaving and in detention, 2013 to 20171
|Year||Entering detention||Leaving detention||In detention||In detention (excl. HM Prisons)|
|Change: latest year||-1,572||-433||-193||-600|
- Data from July 2017 includes those entering and leaving detention through HM Prisons, as well as those held in detention in HM Prisons. Data are not directly comparable with previous years. See the user guide for more details.
Top 5 nationalities of people leaving detention, 2017
|Nationality||Leaving detention||% Returned on leaving detention1||% Granted TA/TR2 on leaving detention|
Table dt 08 q (detention tables).
- ‘Returned on leaving detention’ includes enforced returns, voluntary returns and those refused entry at port (in the UK) who were subsequently detained and then departed the UK.
- Temporary admission or release.
The total number of enforced returns from the UK, including those not directly from detention, decreased by 1% to 12,321 in 2017 compared with 12,469 in the previous year; of these:
- 23% of the total were enforced returns of people who had previously sought asylum (2,884), up 12% from the previous year (2,581)
Returns from the UK, by type of return, 2014 to 2017
|Year||Total enforced returns1||Enforced removals2||Other returns from detention3||Total voluntary returns (excluding returns from detention)4||Total refused entry at port and subsequently departed|
|Change: latest 12 months||-148||-1,005||+857||-||+410|
Table rt 01 q (Returns tables, volume 1).
- ‘Enforced returns’ cover enforced removals from detention, non-detained enforced removals and other returns from detention where the Home Office will have been required to facilitate or monitor the return.
- ‘Enforced removals’ include enforced removals from detention and non-detained enforced removals.
- ‘Other returns from detention’ relate to returns occurring either from detention, or up to 2 days after leaving detention, where it had been established that a person has breached UK immigration laws and/or have no valid leave to remain in the UK.
- ‘Voluntary returns’ include assisted returns, controlled returns and other verified returns. These are subject to significant upward revision as matching checks are made on travellers after departure. Comparisons with the previous 12 months for voluntary returns have not been included as data are not comparable over time.
Top 5 nationalities of enforced returns from the UK, 2017
|Nationality||Total enforced returns1||Enforced removals2||Other returns from detention3||As a % of Total enforced returns|
Table rt 02 q (Returns tables, volume 1).
See notes above.
3.1 Returns of EU and non-EU nationals, by type of return, 2014 to 2017
EU nationals may be returned for not exercising, or abusing, Treaty rights or for deportation on public policy grounds (such as criminality).
Table rt 02 q (Returns tables, volume 1).
See notes above.
In 2017 5,835 FNOs were returned from the UK, of which 12% were known to have an overseas criminal record. Of the 5,835 FNOs, around two-thirds were EU nationals. Data on FNO returns can be found in Table rt 06 q.
4. Data tables
Data referred to here can be found in the following tables: