§ Mr. Madden
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are currently detained at the Harmondsworth detention centre in London; why these people are detained; what was the(a) minimum, (b) average and (c) maximum period of detention, to date, during 1991; what the comparable figures are for the same period in 1990; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
At 10 July 1991, a total of 94 people were detained at the Harmondsworth detention centre. Of these, 66 were detained pending further examination of their applications for leave to enter the United Kingdom. Of the others, 13 have been refused leave to enter, seven have been served with notices that they are illegal entrants and eight are the subject of deportation action. These 28 people are detained while representations are considered, appeal rights exercised, or arrangements for removal from the United Kingdom made.
Consideration is given in all case to whether release on temporary admission is possible; but the particular circumstances of each case makes this inappropriate.
Records of those detained at Harmondsworth over the course of a year are not held centrally and it would be possible to provide all the information requested only at disproportionate cost. However, the minimum period of detention in 1991 to date has been less than 24 hours. The minimum period of detention in 1990 was also less than 24 hours.
Other available information is as follows.
The average period of detention of those held at Harmondsworth on 10 July 1991 was 24.6 days. This compares with an average of 10 days for those held on 10 July 1990.
The maximum period spent by anyone in Harmondsworth in 1990–91 was 406 days—between 13 January 1990 and 22 February 1991.
§ Mr. Madden
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many days in the past month persons detained at the Harmondsworth detention centre in London have refused food; how many detainees are currently refusing food; what reasons have been given by detainees for refusing food; how frequently detainees refusing food are medically examined; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
As at 11 July, no detainee at the Harmondsworth detention centre was refusing to take meals. In the period 12 June to 10 July 1991, detainees declined meals on a total of seven days, the details being shown in the table.
Dale Number of persons Reason 26 June 2 Not hungry 30 June 1 Protest 2 July 2 Not hungry 2 July 1 Protest 3 July 1 Not hungry 4 July 11 Protest 4 July 2 Stomach upset
Date Number of persons Reason 8 July 4 Protest 9 July 1 Protest
All detainees who refuse meals are referred to the detention centre's medical practitioner's daily surgery for examination.
The fact that a detainee is refusing meals does not necessarily mean that he or she is not taking nourishment. A range of confectionery is available for purchase within the centre and visitors are allowed to bring in certain items, including fruit.