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STAFF at Napier Barracks used Gmail accounts to share personal information including asylum-seekers’ dates of birth and details of safeguarding concerns, according to a prison watchdog report.
Inspectors raised concerns today that this could constitute a data breach by sub-contractors at the ex-army barracks in Kent, and urged the Home Office to report it to the Information Commissioner.
In a letter to the department, former chief inspector of borders and immigration David Bolt said inspectors also found employees living on site in unsafe accommodation and in breach of their student visa conditions during a visit in February.
Mr Bolt said he was told in March these individuals were no longer working for the sub-contractor.
The Home Office contracted Clearsprings Ready Homes to run both Napier and another site Penally, which has since closed, with some services sub-contracted to other firms.
The letter was included in the report by HMI Prisons, which found managers at both sites lacked the experience and skills to run large-scale communal accommodation.
The Home Office said it had made a significant improvements to Napier, including addressing the issues that were raised in the HMI Prison report.
The report prompted fresh calls today for Napier Barracks to be shut down.
Refugee Action head of campaigns Mariam Kemple Hardy said: “The government has no choice but to close Napier Barracks immediately and rehouse people in our communities, and scrap the extreme plans for warehouse-style reception camps outlined in its anti-refugee Bill.”
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