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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2018/how-many-people-are-detained-or-returned
Data relate to year ending March 2018 and all comparisons are with year ending March 2017, unless indicated otherwise.
This section contains data on:
- individuals held in immigration detention (solely under Immigration Act powers)
- 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 year ending March 2018, 26,541 individuals entered the detention estate (down 8% compared with the previous year) and 27,429 left the detention estate (down 5%).
At the end of March 2018, there were 2,400 persons held in the detention estate (excluding HM Prisons), a fall of 18% compared with 12 months earlier. Additionally, 358 individuals were held in immigration detention in HM Prisons.
The total number of enforced returns from the UK, including those not directly from detention, decreased by 9% to 11,621 in year ending March 2018 compared with 12,766 in the previous year.
Provisional data show that 5,630 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) were returned in year ending March 2018, down 11% compared to 6,346 in the previous year; of these:
- 66% were EU nationals (3,694)
- 34% were non-EU nationals (1,936)
2. Immigration detention
2.1 . Detention
From July 2017, data on detention of immigration detainees in prisons are included in the immigration detention figures. Previously, individuals who were detained in prison would have been recorded in the data upon entering the detention estate through an immigration removal centre (IRC), short-term holding facility (STHF) or pre-departure accommodation (PDA); now they are recorded upon entering immigration detention within prison. Data from Q3 2017 onwards are therefore not directly comparable with earlier data. Further details of these changes can be found in the user guide.
In year ending March 2018, 26,541 people entered the detention estate.
As at the end of March 2018, there were 2,400 people in the detention estate (excluding prisons). This was 18% lower than the same time the previous year. In addition, 358 immigration detainees were held in HM Prisons.
At the end of March, there were 469 EU nationals, and 2,289 non-EU nationals in detention (including prisons).
People entering, leaving, and in detention, year ending March 2014 to year ending March 20181
|Year ending||Entering detention||Leaving detention||In detention2||In detention (excl. HM Prisons)|
|Change: latest year||-2,437||-1,477||z||-530|
Table dt 01 q, dt 08 q and dt 13 q (detention tables)
- 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.
- z = not applicable.
2.2 . Reason for leaving detention
Following the introduction of the new Immigration Bail in Schedule 10 of the Immigration Bill 2016, the detention closed reasons ‘Bailed (Secretary of State)’ replaced the existing powers of ‘Granted temporary admission/release’ from 15 January 2018, and ‘Bailed (Immigration Judge)’ replaced ‘Bailed’ to differentiate from ‘Bailed (Secretary of State (SoS))’. See the user guide for more details of this change.
Almost half of those leaving detention in the year ending March 2018 were returned from the UK, although this varied considerably by nationality.
Top 5 nationalities of people leaving detention, by reason for leaving, year ending March 2018
|Nationality||Leaving detention||% Returned from UK on leaving detention||% Bailed (SoS) on leaving detention|
Table dt 08 q (detention tables)
- ‘Returned from UK 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.
- Detention closed reason: Bailed (Secretary of State) replaced the existing powers of Granted temporary admission/release from 15/01/2018, following the introduction of the new Immigration Bail in Schedule 10 of the Immigration Bill 2016.
The total number of enforced returns from the UK, including those not directly from detention, decreased by 9% to 11,621 in year ending March 2018 compared with 12,766 in year ending March 2017; of these:
- 24% of the total were enforced returns of people who had previously sought asylum (2,811), up 7% from the previous year (2,626)
Returns from the UK, by type of return, year ending March 2015 to year ending March 2018
|Year ending||Total enforced returns1||Total voluntary returns2||Total refused entry at port who subsequently departed|
|Change: latest 12 months||-1,145||-||+474|
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.
- ‘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, year ending March 2018
|Nationality||Total enforced returns1||% 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, year ending March 2015 to year ending March 2018
EU nationals may be returned for not exercising, or abusing, Treaty rights or for deportation on public policy grounds (such as criminality).
|Year ending||March 2015||March 2016||March 2017||March 2018||Change: latest year||Percentage change|
|Total enforced returns1||14,125||13,265||12,766||11,621||-1,145||-9%|
|Total voluntary returns2||25,177||28,831||25,672||17,868||-||-|
|Total refused entry at port who subsequently departed||16,407||18,080||17,495||17,969||+474||+3%|
Table rt 02 q (Returns tables, volume 1).
See notes above.
In year ending March 2018, 5,630 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) were returned from the UK, of which 11% were known to have an overseas criminal record. Of the 5,630 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: