§ Lord Beaumont of Whitley
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many children in families were held in removal centres in the United Kingdom in the first quarter of 2003 for:
- (a) 1–7 days;
- (b) 7–14 days; and
- (c) longer than 14 days. [HL3574]
§ Baroness Scotland of Asthal
The information requested is not available and could only be obtained by examination of individual case-files at disproportionate cost.
Dungavel, Harmondsworth, Oakington and Tinsley House are the only Immigration Service Removal Centres (IRC's) that deal with family cases. An exercise was carried out on 2 April 2003 to assess the number of children under the age of 18 detained in these IRC's, the results of which are contained in the table.
Immigration Service Removal Centre Children under 18 years of age in detention at 2 April 2003 Dungavel 21 Harmondsworth 18 Oakington 14 Tinsley 3 Total 56
Minors are detained only in two limited circumstances: first, as part of a family group whose detention is considered appropriate; second, when unaccompanied, while alternative care arrangements are made and normally just overnight.