Immigration detention in the united kingdom september 2017

Document type
Policy briefing
Corporate author(s)
Refugee Council
Refugee Council
Date of publication
1 September 2017
Social Policy, Minority Groups
Social welfare
Material type

Download (272KB )

This briefing discusses calls for reform to the immigration act, and the impact of new government policies.

Key points:

  • Between July 2016 and June 2017, 27,819 people were detained by the Home Office for immigration purposes.
  • At the end of June 2017, nearly 3,000 people were being held in an Immigration Removal Centre.
  • The UK is the only country in Europe that does not have a maximum time limit on how long someone can be detained.

People can be detained by the administrative authority of the Home Office. The power to detain was created by the Immigration Act 1971. There is no time limit on how long individuals can be detained under these powers. The decision to detain is an administrative process – it is not a judicial procedure.

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