The UK Border Agency has published an independent report by Baroness Nuala O’Loan into allegations, made in 2007, that UK Border Agency escorts abused individuals being removed from the UK.
The report, which was commissioned by the Home Secretary in September 2008, has unequivocally found no evidence of systematic abuse. It says that the force used in the alleged cases of abuse was largely justified and proportionate to manage what was often exceptionally disruptive behaviour, and to ensure that detainees complied with their removal from the UK.
The report also concludes that, although the agency used to have inadequate procedures for handling complaints, we took major steps in February 2008 to address the issue. The improvements made to complaints handling since that date are acknowledged in the report.
David Wood, strategic director of the UK Border Agency’s criminality and detention group, said:
‘We welcome the unequivocal findings of Baroness O’Loan that there is no evidence of systemic abuse by UK Border Agency escorts when removing individuals from the UK.
‘We expect the highest standards of integrity and behaviour from our staff and contractors. We take all allegations of mistreatment seriously, and the significant improvements made to our complaints procedures are recognised in this report.
‘All detainees are treated with dignity and respect, with access to legal advice and healthcare facilities. We only remove those whom both the UK Border Agency and the independent courts deem to have no legal right to be in the UK.’
You can download Baroness O’Loan’s report from the Home Office website.