Interception in immigration detention facilities

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:00 pm ar 14 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 2:00, 14 Ebrill 2016

I will be equally brief. There is a misconception about this matter. The Bill as drafted simply ensures that any interception carried out at a detention centre and under detention centre rules is lawful. No purpose is intended other than the maintenance of safety and security of the people in those centres. It is clearly right that officers should be able to intercept attempts to send contraband material, for example, such as drugs, in particularly sensitive environments. The power cannot be used to deal with the outcome of any immigration cases, asylum applications and so on.

The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 contains the power to make rules for management of immigration detention centres. Clause 44 provides that interception, carried out in accordance with those rules will be within the law. In a sense, it is as simple as that. I can see why the hon. and learned Lady might have misunderstood this, but I can assure her that that is what is in the Bill and, I put on the record, is the Government’s position. Rather than detain the Committee now, it might help if I send copies of the detention centre rules to Committee members, as they contain the essence of the argument that I have just made.