Our statement on Dungavel closure announcement

Dungavel
Dungavel House Immigration Removal Centre

Today the Home Office has announced that it is to close Scotland's Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre in 2017 and that it will build a new short-term holding facility near Glasgow Airport.

Gary Christie, Scottish Refugee Council's Head of Communications, said:

"Indefinite detention for immigration purposes is a UK scandal. While we are pleased to hear that this will no longer take place in Scotland, an end to long-term immigration detention must happen across the whole of the UK.

"The UK is alone among EU countries in imposing the cruel and unnecessary system of indefinite detention. We know that being detained without a release date causes extreme distress. People who have experienced torture and human rights abuses in their home countries are at significant risk when detained indefinitely in the UK. It is also extremely ineffective. More than three quarters of those leaving detention in Dungavel were released back into the community last year.

 "We want swift assurances from the Home Office that men and women who would have been detained in Dungavel in Scotland will not now simply be moved indiscriminately to other detention facilities in other parts of the UK.  We know that being moved around the UK has an impact on people’s ability to access legal advice, as Scottish solicitors cannot represent people if they are moved away to centres in England.

"Loneliness and isolation put people's health and wellbeing at further risk, and this will only worsen if people are moved away from their support networks. 

 "We are also concerned about the implications of detaining people in Short Term Holding Facilities, which have consistently received poor inspection reports by HMP and have been deemed unsafe for women."