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UK: Video footage raises concerns about conditions inside Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre run by Mitie

In March 2015 Corporate Watch and Channel 4 released footage filmed inside Harmondswoth Immigration Removal Centre which is run by outsourcing firm, Mitie.  The footage raises concerns about conditions in the Centre.  Specific concerns relate to alleged unhygienic conditions, the decision to increase the amount of time detainees are locked in their cells each day, and the detention of people with illnesses such as epilepsy.

We invited Mitie to respond to the concerns raised.  Its response is below.

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Company response
17 March 2015

Mitie response

Author: Mitie

We’re aware of the reports on Channel 4 and are investigating them with the Home Office. As such, we cannot comment on the allegations in any detail but we can say that the centre is not at breaking point. We are committed to treating detainees with dignity and respect. Our priorities are safety, security and managing a decent and caring environment and we’re investing considerably on an ongoing basis in creating this environment for detainees.

Article
4 March 2015

'It's gonna break': life in UK's biggest detention centre

Author: Corporate Watch

Secret filming reveals conditions inside Harmondsworth immigration detention centre for the first time, where hundreds of people face deportation. The footage was shot by a detainee and obtained by Corporate Watch as part of a five month investigation into Mitie, the outsourcing firm that took over Harmondsworth in September 2014 under a multi-million pound Home Office contract. The videos...reveal:Home Office staff admitting that conditions in Harmondsworth are “shit”...Detainees living in unhygienic conditions with pigeons flying around inside, overflowing drains, rotting food in the kitchen and bed bugs in their cells...A detainee suffering injuries from what appear to be epileptic fits.

Read the full post here

Article
4 March 2015

Harmondsworth undercover: 'I don't want to die here'

Author: Channel 4 (UK)

The footage, given to Channel 4 News by non-governmental organisation Corporate Watch, details some of the conditions the men are being forced to live in and the desperation of some men who feel lost in the system.

Read the full post here