‘It’s gonna break’: life in UK’s biggest detention centre


Secret filming reveals conditions inside Harmondsworth immigration detention centre for the first time, where hundreds of people face deportation.

The footage was shot by a detainee and obtained by Corporate Watch as part of a five month investigation into Mitie, the outsourcing firm that took over Harmondsworth in September 2014 under a multi-million pound Home Office contract.

The videos, some of which are also featured on Channel 4 News tonight, reveal:

– Home Office staff admitting that conditions in Harmondsworth are “shit”, and that detainees are not allowed cameras to photograph inside the centre because the government “don’t want the bad publicity that would entail”.

– A guard saying that the new Mitie management has “fucked this place up”, making staff work more shifts and get less rest. “It’s just gonna break. There’s only so much people can take”, the guard warns.

– Paul Morrison, Mitie’s most senior manager at Harmondsworth, telling detainees that they will be locked inside their cells for two hours longer at night as part of the company’s new contract.

– Detainees living in unhygienic conditions with pigeons flying around inside, overflowing drains, rotting food in the kitchen and bed bugs in their cells.

– A detainee suffering injuries from what appear to be epileptic fits.

– Mitie guards selling counterfeit clothes to detainees that had been confiscated at customs by the UK Border Force.

Read the full report and watch the videos on Corporate Watch here

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