Campsfield House in Kidlington currently holds up to 260 detainees. The Home Office is consulting on more than doubling its size, taking the total capacity to 610 beds.
The detainees include refugees who’s status as asylum seeker is either being considered or has been refused, others are ‘overstayers’ who have overstayed their visa, Foreign National Offenders who have committed a crime and are awaiting deportation and detainees who are wanting to return home but are waiting for arrangements to be made.
This proposal makes no sense for Kidlington or for our immigration system. We should be looking for alternatives to detention rather than expanding our detention programme and Campsfield House in particular has already struggled to manage with its existing numbers resulting in a series of serious incidents.
Most recently after last winters fire, which required the evacuation of half the detainees, it came to light that there was no sprinkler system in place to protect detainees or workers. After campaigning alongside Dave Etheridge, the Chief Fire Officer, I am pleased the Home Office have now agreed to install sprinklers.
Nevertheless I am quite clear that doubling the size of Campsfield would be wrong for Kidlington and wrong for detainees. Please sign my petition to the Home Secretary to say NO to Doubling the Size of Campsfield.