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Detention Centres: Self-harm and Suicide

Question for Home Office

UIN 70295, tabled on 7 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many instances of (a) self-harm and (b) suicide there have been in immigration detention centres in each of the last five years.

Answered on

15 July 2020

Staff at all immigration removal centres are trained to identify those at risk of self-harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. All incidents of self-harm are treated very seriously, and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature. Formal risk assessments on initial detention and systems for raising concerns at any subsequent point feed into established self-harm procedures in every IRC, which are in turn underpinned by the Home Office Operating Standard on the prevention of self-harm and Detention Services Order 06/2008 Assessment Care in Detention Teamwork (ACDT).

Self-harm incidents requiring medical treatment in each immigration removal centre, for the last five years are shown in the table below. This is provisional management information that has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.







(up to 31 March)

Number of self-harm incidents







These are the number of incidents of self-harm requiring medical treatment; they do not necessarily equate to the number of individuals requiring medical treatment as one individual may have received treatment on more than one occasion.

Any death in immigration detention is subject to investigation by the police, the coroner (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) and the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

In the period 1 January 2015 to 8 July 2020 there have been three deaths of individuals detained in the immigration detention estate that have been determined by a coroner as a suicide on the balance of probabilities.

Since 2018, information on deaths in immigration detention has been included in published immigration statistics on an annual basis. Data on the number of deaths of people detained under immigration powers in each year from 2017, are published in table Det_05 of the Detention summary tables.

Answered by

Home Office