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Inspectors sound the alarm about asylum camp conditions with emergency interim report

Inspectors sound the alarm about asylum camp conditions with emergency interim report

No sooner had we pressed publish on today’s write-up of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s latest report than a new one emerged — or rather, a “high-level overview” of conditions at Napier and Penally asylum camps, following visits on 15 February and 4 March. It is unusual and possibly unprecedented for the inspector to publish interim findings in this way and clearly reflects the urgency of the dire conditions in the camps.

A few quotes give a flavour of the whole:

Given the cramped communal conditions and unworkable cohorting at Napier, once one person was infected a large-scale outbreak was virtually inevitable. In our resident survey at Napier, none of those who responded felt they had been kept safe from COVID-19…

The Crown Premises Fire Safety Inspectorate (CPFSI) informed us of serious concerns about fire safety at Napier that had not been fully addressed at the time of the ICIBI/HMIP inspection visit…

The Home Office did not exercise adequate oversight at either site and Home Office staff were rarely present. There were fundamental failures of leadership and planning by the Home Office…

We had serious safeguarding concerns in relation to Napier. There was inadequate support for people who had self-harmed. People at high risk of self-harm were located in a decrepit ‘isolation block’ which we considered unfit for habitation…

The environment at both sites, especially Napier, was impoverished, run-down and unsuitable for long-term accommodation…

Pictures of the isolation room for self-harming residents are below.

CJ McKinney is Free Movement's editor. He's here to make sure that the website is on top of everything that happens in the world of immigration law, whether by writing articles, commissioning them out or considering pitches. CJ is an adviser on legal and policy matters to the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, and keeps up with the wider legal world as a contributor to Legal Cheek. Twitter: @mckinneytweets.

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