UK: Campsfield House immigration removal centre to close - statement from the Campaign to Close Campsfield


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Campsfield House immigration removal centre to close - statement from the Campaign to Close Campsfield
12.11.18
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The UK government has announced that the Campsfield House immigration detention centre will close by 2019, when the contract with outsourcing company Mitie Care and Custody expires. Campsfield has an official maximum capacity of 282 people. The closure is a response to the Shaw review into the welfare of vulnerable people in detention. What follows is a statement by Bill MacKeith, joint organiser of the long-standing Campaign to Close Campsfield.

Government’s announcement that Campsfield will close: Statement from Bill MacKeith

"The announcement that Campsfield is to close is long overdue.

"We think soberly of all the harm done, the lives damaged or destroyed, and those lost - 18-year-old Kurd Ramazan Kamluca in June 2005 and Moldovan Ianos Dragotan in August 2011 - at Campsfield over the past twenty-five years.

"The name of our campaign is Campaign to Close Campsfield and End All Immigration Detention.

"With Campsfield next May, four detention centres will have closed in four years.The number of people in detention is currently down some 20 per cent from the peak in 2015.

"But the misery and injustice of immigration detention continues at Yarl’s Wood, Colnbrook and Harmondsworth, Brook and Tinsley, Morton Hall, and Dungavel. These too have to go. We shall work for that."

At the end of this month, to mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of Campsfield, we shall be organising a big demo at Campsfield on Saturday the 24th, but also a special event at 7pm on Thursday 22nd November in Oxford Town Hall, where people who have been involved inside and outsideCampsfield in resisting detention will tell their stories and talk about where next.

See: Flyer (pdf)

Further reading

Campsfield House immigration removal centre to close(gov.uk, link):

"Today, the Home Office has announced that Campsfield House immigration removal centre will close by May 2019, when the current management contract with Mitie Care and Custody ends.

The closure of the 282 bed centre is part of Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s commitment to cut the number of people detained at any given time and improve the welfare of detainees. These reforms were announced in response to Stephen Shaw’s review into welfare of vulnerable people in detention.

By next summer, the Home Office will aim to reduce the immigration detention estate by almost 40% since 2015."

Shaw review into the welfare of vulnerable people in detention (October 2016, pdf)

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