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Refugees forced to live in squalid conditions at Serco-run hotel

APPALLING treatment of refugees has been exposed at a hotel run for the Home Office by disgraced security firm Serco.

Skin diseases, inedible food and abuse by staff at an unnamed hotel in Stockport, Greater Manchester, has been revealed by refugee support group Refugee & Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research (Rapar) today.

The report also lists rubbish, including medical waste, piled on landings, lack of security and children denied schooling among the problems faced by refugees.

The group says complaints and alerts raised via Home Office procedures have been ignored.

Rapar has appealed to Stockport Council, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Stockport’s four MPs to intervene.

Cases of scabies have been noted at the hotel, with residents living in permanent anxiety about acquiring it, and other skin complaints have been reported.

People with medical conditions are given inappropriate diets, the group says, but residents are banned from cooking in their rooms, and the £8 per person the refugees receive each week is not enough to cover take-outs.

Serco staff are accused of walking into residents’ rooms without permission and sometimes without knocking. 

There have been reports of Serco staff shouting at children, showing disrespect towards women and ridiculing residents who have mental health issues, Rapar said.

Rapar founder Rhetta Moran said the hotel was part of a Britain-wide problem.

“Vulnerable people, for whom raising these concerns has involved great courage, have done so out of a real desire to improve things for everyone at the hotel,” she said.

”erco denied all Rapar’s findings, despite the photographic evidence produced by Rapar.

A Serco spokesman said: “The allegations made by Rapar are incorrect. There are currently no cases of scabies; all waste is removed daily: transport is provided for medical appointments and every child has a school place alloc”ated.

“A balanced nutritious and varied menu is provided and there has only been one complaint in the past six weeks. As in any hotel, cooking in rooms is not allowed for obvious safety reasons.

“This is a family hotel and we regularly remind their parents that all children must be accompanied by an appropriate adult at all times.

“We are confident that our staff treat all the people in the hotel with respect and they always knock three times and announce themselves prior to entering any room.”

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