More and better staff training is needed at immigration centres across the UK after allegations of racism and aggressive behaviour towards detainees, a report has found.
An audit of immigration removal centres was commissioned by the Home Office’s Border & Immigration Agency (BIA) after a BBC television programme made allegations of racist behaviour towards detainees.
The report has led to an immigration officer being sacked at Lindholme detention centre near Doncaster. He regularly referred to North African detainees as “donkeys” and made animal sounds, the report said.
The Border & Immigration Agency (BIA) said the report findings “did not support serious allegations of racism or mistreatment of detainees but highlighted areas for improvement with regards to race relations”.
Lin Homer, BIA chief executive, said: “Removing people from the UK, where they have no legal right to be here, is about fairness and enforcing the rules. However, it is important to treat those being detained with courtesy and dignity, and to effect their removal in the same spirit.
“The BIA takes any allegation of abuse or misconduct very seriously, which is why we commissioned this report.”
The report also recommended that the agency consider sharing examples of best practice between the centres.