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Systematic abuse found at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre


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The latest of what seems a neverending series reports of abuse of detainees in immigration removal centres has come to light. BBC Panorama took undercover footage at Brook House and uncovered the following, amongst other evidence of chaos and incompetence:

  1. G4S officers assaulting, abusing and mocking detainees;
  2. Asylum seekers being forced to share cells with foreign national prisoners who have completed their sentences.
  3. Rife drug use.

This is hardly the first time that investigation has uncovered abuse at immigration removal centres. Nor is it the first time that G4S contractors have been involved.

G4S has reacted to this by conducting an internal investigation and suspending nine of its staff. G4S could quite easily have conducted its own investigation or covert footage before the media found out. G4S could have created a robust inspection system, or any other way of preventing such widespread abuse from happening. However, they did not.

G4S appear not to have learnt from the many previous times this has happened. As a result, many have, understandably, called for its contract to run the immigration removal centres to be suspended.

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Paul Erdunast

Paul Erdunast

Paul Erdunast is a barrister at Temple Garden Chambers in London (https://tgchambers.com/member-profile/paul-erdunast/). Prior to this he was Legal and Parliamentary Officer at ILPA, where he delivered immigration law training and spoke at conferences. In previous jobs he lectured on asylum law and provided EU migrants with immigration advice.