LOCK’EM-UP Tories are spending more than £4 million of taxpayers’ money each year to compensate people wrongly held in detention centres, it was revealed yesterday.
According to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC, the government shelled out £18m between 2011 and 2015 on foreign citizens arrested unlawfully.
Anti-detention campaign Movement for Justice spokeswoman Karen Doyle told the Star: “Immigration detention is falling apart at the seams because of the movement that has grown demanding its end.
“Detainees and ex-detainees are fighting for freedom, for their rights and the government needs to know it will get more revolt, more expense, more exposure until detention ends.”
She added that the compensation scandal was only “the tip of an iceberg of resistance and rebellion promising to sink the government.”
About 30,000 people go through Britain’s detention and removal centres every year. Cases of physical, sexual and emotional abuse have been rife in places such as the notorious Serco-run Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire.
Commons home affairs committee member Tim Loughton said last year that 60 per cent of the 32,000 people detained were released back into their communities — a sign of the system not working.
The Conservative MP said: “These are not prisons, they are places purely to hold people who might be at risk of absconding between getting hold of them and putting them on a plane out of the country.
“I think many taxpayers would be greatly annoyed and offended that their money is going not only to look after some of these people who should not be in these detention centres, but we’re actually having to pay out compensation because the courts have deemed that they’ve been detained wrongly as well.”
Chef Gilberto Silva Santos won £136,048 damages at the High Court in March for false imprisonment and breaches of EU law.
A judge ruled Home Office officials had treated the Brazilian in an “outrageously oppressive and unconstitutional way” when he was unlawfully detained for 154 days in 2012 despite being married to an EU citizen.