Skip to main content

Asylum: Hove

Question for Home Office

UIN 132555, tabled on 25 January 2023

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to recent reports of the abduction of unaccompanied children from a Home Office residence in Hove, what arrangements for custody and responsibility her Department made with that local authority when it procured hotels to house asylum seekers in that area.

Answered on

31 January 2023

The rise in dangerous small boats crossings means there are significant challenges on providing local authority care places for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). Out of necessity and with the best interests of the child in mind, we have had no alternative but to temporarily use hotels to give some unaccompanied children a roof over their heads whilst local authority accommodation is found. The safety and wellbeing of those in our care is our primary concern.

The Home Office engaged with the local authority before UASC were housed in the hotel, but operational pressures resulted in a reduced period of notice prior to their moving into the site.

We take our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously, and we have robust procedures in place to ensure all children are accommodated as safely as possible whilst in hotels. The movements of UASC in and out of hotels are monitored and recorded and they are accompanied by support workers when attending organised activities and social excursions off-site, or where specific vulnerabilities are identified.

We have no power to detain unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in these hotels and we know some do go missing. Many of those who have gone missing are subsequently traced and located. It is not true to say that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are being kidnapped or abducted from these hotels.

Ending the use of hotels for UASC is an absolute priority and we will continue to work around the clock with councils to increase the number of care placements available. To achieve that goal we are providing are providing local authorities with children’s services £15,000 for every eligible young person they take into their care from a Home Office-run hotel dedicated to UASC or the Kent Reception and Safe Care Service by the end of February 2023.

Answered by

Home Office
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.