UK: Serco & G4S operated immigration centre has become "place of national concern" finds Chief Inspector of Prisons

"Yarl's Wood conditions deteriorated so much women are being treated like 'animals'", 12 Aug 2015

Conditions at a privately run immigration removal centre have “deteriorated” over the past year to the extent that almost half of the women held there fear for their safety, according to a damning report published by the Chief Inspector of Prisons. Vulnerable female asylum-seekers detained at Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire said staff treated them “like animals” and that their experiences had left them with anxiety, depression, sleep disruption and mental health problems, the report by Nick Hardwick found...Yarl’s Wood is operated on behalf of the Government by the private company Serco but since September last year its healthcare services have been provided by G4S...Inspectors said that of all the areas in the centre, “health care had declined most severely” since they last visited in June 2013 and that it had become a “place of national concern”....John Shaw, managing director for public services at G4S, said: “This report acknowledges the challenges which we inherited at Yarl’s Wood when we took over the healthcare provision last year, and we are currently reconfiguring the service to address a growing number of more complex medical requirements at the centre.” Julia Rogers, Serco’s managing director of home affairs, said she was “pleased” that four out of five Yarl’s Wood detainees said they were treated with respect by staff. “We are working very hard to increase the proportion of female staff in the centre and we have just completed a training course from which 11 new female officers graduated,” she added. “We are also conducting a full review of the reception and induction processes and efforts are being made to shorten the time that women spend in reception when arriving at the centre.”

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Related companies: G4S Serco