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Detained immigrants riot at removal centre | Immigration Matters

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Up to 40 immigrant detainees rioted last week at Morton Hall in Swinderby, Lincolnshire, injuring five officers.

As many as 40 detainees were involved in the incident at Morton Hall immigration removal centre in Swinderby, which saw one detainee taken to hospital and 12 others transferred to other centres.

A UK Border Agency (UKBA) spokesman said: “All our immigration removal centres are overseen by an independent monitoring board.

“Morton Hall is a safe place for detainees and staff. We will not tolerate any behaviour which might put anyone at risk of harm.”

Staff were injured in disturbances on 30 December, the UKBA said, while up to 50 detainees were also involved in a protest on Christmas Day, in which no one was injured.

The incidents were brought under control within an hour.

Morton Hall, a former women’s prison, was reopened as an immigration removal centre in 2011 after a £6m refit. It holds up to 392 foreign national offenders, failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

The UKBA’s website states that inmates at the all-male centre have access to 24-hour medical services, a dentist, a “well-stocked” library with “a wide array of reading material in different languages as well as DVDs and CDs”.

There are also indoor badminton, soft tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.

In September last year, 18 asylum seekers went on hunger strike at Morton Hall because they did not want to be sent back to Afghanistan.

Immigration Adviser  Cynthia Barker’s firm has helped detainees secure a release. She said more students and overstayers are being detained.

“In one recent case a student visa holder was detained for 80 days after he was refused an extension.

“He was a polite young man who had never been in trouble with the law, was studying at University and had no need to work as he was fully supported by his family back home in Nigeria.

“We managed to rescue him minutes before his specially chartered ”deportation” plane was about to take off from Stanstead Airport only because he was in a relationship with an EEA national – even then the Home Office wanted to ignore this and remove him that night.”

Detention centres are not, as some suggest, holiday camps. The conditions experienced by detainees, which holds visa overstayers alongside convicted murders and rapists, are similar to those in prisons. Getting access to qualified legal advice to lodge an appeal or apply for bail is not always easy.

Immigration Matters has teamed up with a network of immigration law practitioners and Barristers to offer bail and appeal services for those who find themselves locked in detention centres.

You may be shocked to learn that people in Britain today can be detained indefinitely, pending deportation or appeals.

If you have been detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: or visit for free immigration news updates.

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3 Responses to “Detained immigrants riot at removal centre”
Read them below or add one

  1. Larry .Emi says :

    Hi, my family and I are asylum seekers,we have been told we are not allowed to work pending our decision, it’s been very tough for me to provide for my wife and four kids, meanwhile the ukba sent us a package which we did not receive from the post office, they did not bother to leave behind any sleep for collection from the post office, the package was sent back to the ukba, and now they are denying us appeal claiming that ithas past 10 days after collection. What do we do?

  2. […] Detained immigrants riot at removal centre […]

  3. […] generally report that they are well cared for in the centres, despite the occasional riot, where they are referred to by operators Serco as […]

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