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Justice and Peace Scotland Statement on 'at risk adults' detained at Dungavel

Categories: Articles:Asylum & Refugees | Published: 29/05/2019 | Views: 75

An investigation by the BBC has shown that almost 40% of people detained in Scotland's only immigration removal centre are classed as vulnerable.  We have released the following statement in response.

The BBC Scotland investigation that nearly 40% of people held in Dungavel are classed as vulnerable is extremely concerning. We share the concerns of other organisations that the at risk adult policy is not fit for purpose.

We have long been opposed to the use of immigration detention. It should be unthinkable that men and women who request asylum from our country find themselves detained whilst having broken no laws. Further, given more than half  of those who are detained in ‘removal centres’ are ultimately freed and return to their lives here; their detention only serves to disrupt life in the UK and cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for them, their families and friends. Given the revelations in the last year concerning the UK government’s ‘hostile environment’ ideology questions over the intended results of this disruption to the lives of many people living here will doubtless be raised.

While a recent report from HM Inspectorate of Prisons  note that the staff team at Dungavel are dedicated to the welfare of those who are held there, there are concerns about staff shortages, and a lack of investment. For the Home Office to consider it appropriate to detain significant numbers of vulnerable people; which their own guidance recognises includes victims of torture, modern slavery and sexual abuse, and people with additional physical or mental health needs , without ensuring that facilities have the resources they need is negligent to both those detained and those employed at Dungavel.
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