‘Systemic issues’ likely to be behind Brook House scandal, says inquiry chair

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“Systemic issues” in the UK’s immigration detention system are likely to be behind the abuse scandal at Brooke House Removal Center four years ago, the chairman of an investigation into what happened at the facility has said.

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Kate Ives, a prison security expert who is investigating the abuse of Brooke House detainees shown at the BBC Expo in 2017, said her investigation had “great relevance” to broader Home Office policies today.

Undercover footage broadcast by panorama In September 2017 the program featured alleged assaults, insults and verbal abuse of detainees by officers at the privately operated center, near Gatwick Airport, which houses immigrants facing deportation. A public inquiry was subsequently launched in November 2019 to investigate evidence of the alleged abuse.

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Before the investigation began on Monday, Ms Eves told Granthshala That while the investigation was investigating “what happened in a very specific time and place”, it was focusing on “systemic issues surrounding how people are treated in custody”.

“They still have great relevance today. The issues we are addressing may be relevant to broader Home Office policies regarding detention and oversight of contractors who are providing services in the context of detention and the Home Office. Himself,” she said.

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“I believe we are going to have a significant impact with the investigation, because the issues flowing through it are things that are relevant in a variety of settings now that potentially were in 2017.

“The challenge is to make sure that, we not only answer the question of what happened to those individuals, but that we look closely at the systemic issues that may have caused this, and to prevent this from happening.” what should be done. “

Ms. Eves, who previously worked for the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO), said the investigation would cover three main themes: culture among employees and whether race, nationality and language played a role; Diagnostic provision and use of available tools to identify prisoners with special vulnerabilities; and use of force. She said all of these areas would be a “really important” focus of her investigation.

Since it is a statutory inquiry, the Speaker has broad powers to compel individuals and organizations to hand over evidence, or to become witnesses about the events under investigation.

The public hearing will take place in two phases between November 2021 and March 2022 and will hear directly from previously detainees about their abuse experience, including racist, physical and verbal abuse, and degrading and dehumanizing incidents at the center treatments are included.

The investigation will also be heard from Callum Tully who secretly filmed the abuse shown on the BBC Panorama programme. Undercover: Britain’s immigration secrets, aired on 4 September 2017.

Ms Eves said: “It is important that the investigation looks at what happened and what can be done to prevent this from happening in the future, because there are still immigration centers, people are still in detention, and those people are often extremely are weak.

“We can’t just tell what happened, we also have to look at how we make the recommendations relevant for now in the future, and in the future to really make sure they have an impact.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Immigration detention is a necessary part of our immigration system to remove foreign national offenders and long-term residents from our country in compliance with the law.

“We take the well-being of those detained in our care very seriously. We have a number of safeguards in place to protect vulnerable people, including round-the-clock access for health professionals and contractors to maintain our safety standards. obliged to keep.”

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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