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New Detention Services Order on serious immigration detention incidents


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New Detention Services Order 05/2015 Reporting and communicating incidents out of hours in the immigration detention estate has just been published covering how out of hours incidents in immigration detention camps and during enforced removals (including charter flights) should be reported and communicated.

It replaces two previous DSOs but I will not be conducting a minute examination of the changes here. I suspect the new DSO is in response to a spate of publicity around deaths in detention, including the recently concluded inquest into the tragic death of 85 year old Canadian Alois Dvorak.

The new DSO seems unhealthily obsessed with media handling rather than the safety of those affected. From paragraph 1:

…This ensures that incidents which have the potential to impact wider Home Office business and attract media and Parliamentary interest are communicated accurately, promptly, appropriately and to the right people.

Red and Amber incidents are those which have a serious or adverse impact on

operation of a facility or the safety and security of staff, detainees and visitors and may result in reputational damage to the Home Office, adverse political impact or media attention. [emphasis added]

Top of the list of those who must be notified of Red or Amber incidents are the Press Office News Desk and Press Office. There is no mention of reporting or communicating anything to other detainees at an affected detention camp or to the friends or family of those affected.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.