UKBA can hold up to 3,400 people in detention at any one time

Made possible with opening of new holding centre in Larne

7th July 2011: The UK Border Agency can hold up to 3,400 people in detention across the UK at any one time.

This has been made possible with the opening of a new short term holding centre to assist with the removal of illegal immigrants from Northern Ireland. It has been officially opened in Larne.

The UKBA asserted the new centre, Larne House, is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and increases the capacity in the detention estate as the government intensifies enforcement activity across the UK.

`The facility will only house adults with separate sleeping quarters for men and women. Once operational, the former police custody suite, which has been tailored to meet UK Border Agency specifications, will accommodate a maximum of 21 illegal immigrants for a period of up to 7 days in order to facilitate their removal from the UK.

`The centre will hold foreign nationals caught illegally working in Northern Ireland, overstaying their visa as well as failed asylum seekers being removed from the UK’.

David Wood, strategic director of criminality and detention, UK Border Agency, said:    ‘A tough system of enforcement and removal is one of the cornerstones of an effective immigration system. This new facility in Northern Ireland is a welcome addition to the UK Border Agency’s estate and will help us remove more individuals who have no right to be here.

‘We are reforming the system to make it more effective to ensure those with no right to be here are removed.’

The first detainees will be accepted into Larne House on 11 July 2011.

This will allow more foreign nationals with no right to be here to be removed from the UK in the coming years.

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