A government report has issued concerns over the way in which detainees taken to Luton Airport are handcuffed in “full public view”.
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons made an unannounced visit to the airport on December 9 to assess the way in which its airside short term holding facility is operated.
The facility, which holds passengers subject to investigation by Border Force immigration officers and those who are to be removed having been refused entry to the UK, is run by private contractor Tascor.
Inspectors reported that they were ‘concerned’ to see that detainees were handed to facilty staff at the front of the airport, also that they were taken in handcuffs to the facility in “public view”.
The report revealed that average length of confinement for the 154 detainees in the previous three months was 10 hours, with five being held for more than a full day.
The longest period of detention, 35 hours and 40 minutes, was “far too long”, inspectors said.
Among the 154 detainees in the previous three months were 11 children.
Tascors said it would consider the “recommendations, some of which are outside its jurisdiction, in consultation with its client, the Home Office, and will formally respond to HMIP shortly.”