3 Mar 2015

Two Serco staff suspended over undercover Yarl’s Wood film

Serco suspends two staff members from the Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre after staff were filmed in an undercover Channel 4 News film on the treatment of detainees.

Security outsourcing company Serco has suspended two members of staff over revelations made by a Channel 4 News undercover film into the treatment of people kept at the Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre.

One member of staff was suspended before broadcast, based on information received about the treatment the film revealed.

Home Office minister Karen Bradley told the House of Commons today that a second member of staff has also been suspended following the film’s revelations.

Read more: Yarl's Wood - undercover in the secretive immigration centre

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called the treatment of people kept at the Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre “an utter disgrace”.

“This is state-sanctioned abuse of women on the home secretary’s watch and it needs to end now,” she told the Commons.

‘This needs to be sorted out’

Ms Bradley told MPs: “We are all shocked and appalled by the evidence that we have seen, and action must be taken.”

“This government is breathing down the neck of Serco,” she added. “The behaviour of the staff is completely and totally inappropriate, and be in no doubt that this government takes it seriously.

“The message to Serco is that this needs to be sorted out, and it needs to be sorted out quickly.”

Ms Bradley was replying to a question from Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, who said the evidence uncovered was “deeply disturbing”.

“Yarl’s Wood is not a prison but an immigration centre,” he said. “We simply cannot allow this behaviour to continue.”