Centre boosts UK detention capacity
Wednesday 01 June 2011
The UK will be able to hold up to 3,400 illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers at any one time with the opening of a new detention centre, the Home Office has said.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said the new centre at Morton Hall in Swinderby, Lincolnshire, "will help us remove more individuals who have no right to be here".
The first detainees were held last month and the centre will be fully operational by September, enabling the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to hold up to 3,400 people at any one time.
A former women's prison on the site of an old RAF base, Morton Hall has reopened as an immigration removal centre less than five months after the plans to close the jail were announced.
Opening the centre, Mr Green said a tough system of enforcement and removal "is one of the cornerstones of our reformed immigration system".
Morton Hall is the UK's 11th immigration removal centre which, like Colnbrook near Heathrow Airport and Yarl's Wood on the outskirts of Clapham in Bedfordshire, will hold people who have no legal right to be in the UK but who have refused to leave voluntarily.
This can include foreign national prisoners who have been released from jail but have still refused to leave.
Previously an RAF base, it was re-opened as an open prison in 1985 and refitted in 2001 to provide dedicated facilities for women offenders.
The prison then expanded with two new units opening in 2002 and was recategorised as a closed women's prison in March 2009 before its closure was announced in January.
Women held in the 392-place Morton Hall prison, which had developed a specialist foreign national centre with around 50 nationalities represented, have now been moved to other sites.
Its closure was announced along with plans to shut two further prisons at Ashwell in Rutland and Lancaster Castle in Lancashire, with a total loss of 849 prison places.
- 1 Cara Delevigne addresses awkward interview on Good Day Sacramento
- 2 Model's video shoot on the beach interrupted by sudden landing of a group of illegal migrants
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
- 5 Living in Spain and commuting to London 'cheaper than actually working in London'
Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
Israel accused of killing 75 children during day of 'carnage' and war crimes in Gaza war
Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Walter Palmer killed Cecil the Lion with a bow to show off - and now he's discovering what it's like to be hunted
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an int...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager is required to ...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great company to work...