The Home Office has announced initial plans for a new Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in Oxfordshire.
Today (28 June 2022) the department has started the first stages of the procurement to operate a new IRC on the site of the former Campsfield House.
The new IRC, which will be a secure facility and will accommodate men only, will not be operational until at least late 2023. The Home Office will be engaging local authorities, the local MP, police and other partners as plans are developed.
Tom Pursglove MP, Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration, said:
Those who have abused the immigration system, including foreign national criminals who have devastated the lives of their victims, should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them. This is what the British public rightly expects.
Opening a new immigration removal centre, as part of the New Plan for Immigration, will help ensure there is sufficient detention capacity to safely accommodate individuals ahead of removal.
Detention is an essential part of a fair but firm immigration system and is used to ensure those who have no right to be in the UK, including foreign criminals, are returned, if they refuse to leave voluntarily. Individuals are only returned when the Home Office and, where applicable, the courts deem it is safe to do so.
Once operational, the centre will provide local employment opportunities. Campsfield is anticipated to accommodate up to 400 men, foreign criminals and immigration offenders, in a combination of refurbished and new-build accommodation.
The Government website states:
The welfare of all those in immigration detention is of the upmost importance. We will therefore take into account Stephen Shaw’s reviews on welfare in detention as Campsfield is redeveloped. As with all other IRCs, the centre will have a full range of primary healthcare facilities.
Today’s announcement comes as the new powers as part of the Nationality and Borders Act come into force which will strengthen our ability to deter illegal immigration, tackle criminality and secure our borders.