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The Home Office has published its latest quarterly statistics on detention for the first quarter of 2022 (January, February and March).

Instead of being part of another pile of numbers and data, we have analysed it and found some of these ‘insane’ facts. Why are these insane? Why not? Detaining vulnerable people in brutal ways should never be normalised.

The statistics demonstrate that this government is going back to ‘business as usual’ in its approach to immigration detention from prior to the pandemic in 2019. The increasing use of immigration detention is a worrying upward trend, including the detention of vulnerable people without adequate support or consideration of alternatives.

This year - up until March 2022 - 25,282 people entered detention, nearly double the number of the previous year ending in March 2021 (13,044). In a similar upward trend, 24,918 people left detention. At the end of March this year, there were 1,440 people held in detention.

What the statistics don't show for this period is the fact that the Home Office has been using different Immigration Removal Centres with a lack of accountability and transparency. For example, Yarl’s Wood detention centre was used as RSTHF and later reverted to an IRC for men, with different groups of people detained at the centre, including women and children. It is still not yet clear why these changes were made and it undermines the scrutiny and safeguarding mechanisms to protect the vulnerable people being detained.

In the latest immigration statistics, these are the other ‘insane facts’ that stood out -

(These published figures have been analysed and rounded by AVID)

Removal and returns

Only 14% (3,447) of those detained were removed from the UK, which means that 85% (21,258) were returned to the community. These figures can further be examined across the categories of bail; the Secretary of State bail which replaced temporary admission by Schedule 10, Immigration Act 2016, is the highest percentage - up to 75% (18,625). In other words, it is by home office omission that these people should not have been detained in the first place, despite initially finding grounds to detain? Of the rest, 10% (2614) were released under immigration judge bail, and just over 1%(213) left for ‘other’ reasons.

This leads us to question, what is the justification for detaining all of these people in the first place? A total of 21,258 people’s detention served no purpose!

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