Oakington 2005

Oakington Immigration Removal Centre: allegations of racism and mistreatment

In 2005 the Ombudsman investigated allegations contained in the BBC documentary 'Detention Undercover: The Real Story'. This focused on Oakington Reception Centre and escorting services, both at the time run by Global Solution Limited (now called GS4).

The documentary included allegations of:

  • discrimation by management
  • misuse of the segregation block
  • racist and otherwise inappropriate remarks by officers
  • physical abuse

The programme also alleged that corners were cut on staffing levels and that officers did not follow proper procedures in relation to handcuffing detainees and completing the required paperwork.

The Ombudsman was asked by then Home Office minister Des Browne to carry out an investigation into the allegations.

The Ombudsman published 54 recommendations as part of his report. These were aimed at strengthening management, improving the monitoring of detainees at centres across the detention estate and improving staff's attitude towards detainees.

Read the Ombudsman's full report into the Oakington allegations.


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