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Europe's Largest Detention Centre Unveiled In UK

04 Aug 2010


Immigration Minister Damian Green announced that the opening of two new wings at Harmondsworth immigration removal centre (IRC) will be the largest in Europe. UK Border Agency is intensifying enforcement activity across the country to curb illegal immigration.

He also said,” 'It will provide 364 new bed spaces, increasing our capacity to remove people with no right to stay in the UK.

'The beds will be used for some of the most challenging detainees the UK Border Agency holds, the vast majority of whom are former prisoners who have committed serious offences. I believe foreign criminals should be sent home at the earliest opportunity, and today we have taken another step in that direction."

The new high security accommodation is ready for use and can house 364 most difficult detainees and it is expected that it will take seven to eight weeks to have the new accommodation fully occupied. The significance of this enhancement will help remove foreign criminals from UK.

Under the new government, there have been more than 1900 failed asylum seekers and more than 990 foreign national prisoners removed from the UK.

After opening the new wings, the Minister visited Heathrow Terminal One to see the frontline checks in place at the border, including anti-forgery equipment and drug detection scanners. On visiting Britain's busiest airport, he added:

'Keeping Britain's border secure is a priority for this government - which is why it is crucial that we have vigilant border staff utilising the latest technology in our fight against the people traffickers, drug smugglers and illegal immigrants determined to come here and cause harm.'

During his visit, he met frontline UK Border Agency staff, was given a demonstration by detection dogs, and watched as officers used the latest technology to search bags for hidden, smuggled substances.


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