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THE chief inspector of prisons has said that “it was hard to fathom why a stroke victim in need of social care” was held at an immigration detention centre in Oxfordshire.
Peter Clarke made the comments in a new report published today about Campsfield House, where staff apparently “could not adequately meet” the frail man’s medical needs.
The Home Office detains hundreds of asylum-seekers and other migrants at Campsfield while processing their immigration cases.
They are not serving criminal sentences.
Inspectors found that twice as many detainees, 41 per cent, felt unsafe compared with when they last visited Campsfield in 2014.
They said several detainees had been held for “excessive periods,” with one man spending 17 months locked up.
The lengthy detention was caused in part by the fact that Home Office case workers “did not always act with reasonable diligence and expedition, repeatedly failing to follow up lines of enquiry needed to progress cases.”
Nearly half of those who had been in detention over the previous six months were released after what inspectors called “a disruptive period of detention.”
They were also concerned that the centre was falling into disrepair, saying that “rooms in general looked shabby and needed redecoration, with variable standards of cleanliness.”
They added: “Some were poorly ventilated, leading to damp.”
There was also “ingrained dirt” which required a “deep clean.”
Campsfield has been run by outsourcing giant Mitie since 2011. The company prides itself on facilities management and cleaning.
The Home Office has announced plans to close Campsfield in May 2019, as part of its review of detention centres.
Local campaigners have called for the closure of Campsfield ever since it opened in 1993, holding monthly protests outside in solidarity with detainees.
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