Detainees are escorted in safety and due regard is given to individual needs and risks. Removals are conducted in accordance with law. Security and good order are maintained through proportional operational arrangements and force is only used as a last resort.  

1. Detainees are adequately prepared for the removal. They are treated with respect and sensitivity at the initiation of the journey, and staff understand individual needs and risks.

The following indicators describe evidence that may show this expectation being met. They do not exclude other ways of achieving it.

  • Detainees are not subject to unnecessary or ill-timed journeys in the 48 hours before the removal.
  • Collection from the place of detention is managed sensitively and humanely. The needs and potential distress of detainees are understood and reflected in staff behaviour during the discharge process.
  • Escort staff introduce themselves to new detainees.
  • Information about detainees’ needs is communicated between staff sensitively.
  • Detainees considered vulnerable25 have a risk assessment and a care plan where appropriate, which travel with them at all times. Information relating to health and special needs, such as whether they are accompanied by children, or whether they are at risk of harm to themselves or others, is relayed to escort staff.
  • Systems are in place to arrange for property to be restored and any private cash to be withdrawn from accounts before removal.

25There is no universally agreed definition of vulnerability in detention. As Stephen Shaw’s 2016 report, Review into the Welfare in Detention of Vulnerable Persons: A Report to the Home Office (CM9186), points out, some commentators consider all of those in detention to be vulnerable because they are detained. Others prefer to describe groups that are in ‘situations of vulnerability’, as opposed to intrinsically vulnerable groups, thereby stressing the largely contextual nature of vulnerability. It is common for groups such as those with serious mental or physical health problems, children, elderly people, pregnant women, LGBTI people, people with disabilities, asylum-seekers, and those who have experienced torture, trafficking or gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation, to be considered especially at risk of harm or neglect in detention. In these Expectations, we use the terms ‘vulnerable’ and ‘vulnerability’ to refer to these groups, but also to any other individuals or groups who may be at risk of harm or neglect as a result of other personal, social and environmental factors; these factors may be fixed or change over time and the degree of vulnerability may change as a result.

Human rights standards

Preparation and departure from removal centres
In relation to expectation 1 above: Human rights standards require removal orders to be issued in accordance with law and detainees to be informed in advance of their removal. See TGFR 2, 4, 15. Standards also cover conditions of transport and return of property. See SMR 73; EPR 31, 32, 33.4. Detainees must be treated with respect for their dignity and human rights at all times. See SMR 1; EPR 1.

In addition, see standards relating to safeguarding vulnerable adults (in relation to expectations 2–5).