Friday, December 15, 2006

Five million pound fine for detention centre

THE COMPANY running Harmondsworth detention centre, near Heathrow Airport, where hundreds of asylum seekers rioted in protest at conditions that had been condemned by the chief prisons inspector, has been fined £5 million for a series of performance failures.
The Government imposed this fine – which the private contractors will have to repay to the Treasury – after a damning report by Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons.
She found there a regime of intimidation that left 60 per cent of inmates saying they felt unsafe there. She described the “poorest” conditions she had ever found in a detention centre.
Relations between inmates and staff were poor and the staff were unable to recognise torture victims.
The day after the report was published there was a riot at the centre, which is run by the American security services giant Kalyx.