27 February 2021 Guardian: Revealed: Priti Patel U-turn on end to detention for refugee women
Home Office accused of betrayal over network of new asylum-seeker centres
A new network of immigration detention units for women is being quietly planned by the Home Office, contrary to previous pledges to reform the system and reduce the number of vulnerable people held.
An initial detention centre, based in County Durham on the site of a former youth prison, will open for female asylum seekers this autumn.
In addition to the facility near Consett, Home Office officials told asylum groups last week they were considering a number of “smaller capacity detention units” for women around the UK, though it is unclear if the notorious Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire would be among them.
Alphonsine Kabagabo, director of the charity Women for Refugee Women, called the creation of a detention centre in the north-east a “betrayal of previous commitments made by ministers”.
14 January 2021: Northern Echo: Plans revealed to build prison-style immigration camp on site of former Hassockfield Detention Centre
GOVERNMENT plans to scrap a residential development in favour of creating an immigration detention centre on the site of a notorious facility have been described as “madness”.
Durham county councillors are demanding answers after Ministry of Justice plans emerged, proposing to turn the former Hassockfield Detention Centre, in Medomsley, into a Category 3-style prison to detain around 80 people who have had applications for UK residency denied.
The council had approved a planning application from Homes England for 127 new homes on the site, over a year ago. [Read more here: https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/19009076.plans-immigration-detention-centre-notorious-medomsley-site/ ]