HL Deb 31 March 1994 vol 553 cc69-70WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they found it necessary to keep 720 asylum-seekers in detention (on 17 February 1994), given their repeated statements that detention is used sparingly and only as a last resort.

Earl Ferrers

The immigration service only use detention where there is no alternative and where there are good grounds for thinking that the person will not comply with any conditions of temporary admission. The number of detainees is higher than in the past, but it still represents a very small proportion of asylum applicants. The figure quoted by the noble Lord is about 1½% of the number of applications outstanding, which stood at 47,000 at the end of February.