Yarl's Wood: Independent investigation into Bedfordshire immigration centre riot and break-out

Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre.
Credit: PA
Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire where eight detainees have escaped following a riot. Credit: ITV News Anglia

An independent investigation is under way into a breakout at an immigration detention centre, a government minister has revealed, with one detainee still on the run nearly a month on.

Eight men escaped from Yarl's Wood Immigration Detention Centre in Bedfordshire last month, and only seven of them have been recaptured by police.

Twenty-year-old Ervin Morati remains at large, and immigration minister Robert Jenrick told MPs on Tuesday that the government was "determined" to find the final man "as quickly as possible".

The break-out happened on 28 April when a group of detainees got through the perimeter fence.

Police said 13 people broke through the centre's perimeter fence, although five were detained by officers shortly afterwards.

Mr Jenrick told the House of Commons: "I met with senior Serco executives on 4 May to discuss their response to the incident at Yarl's Wood.

"An independent investigation into this incident is now under way and we'll consider its findings in detail."

Ervin Morati remains on the run, nearly a month after escaping from Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Conservative Richard Fuller, the MP for North East Bedfordshire, thanked Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst for working with other police forces across the country.

He said: "I understand that all but one of those who absconded have been re-arrested, along with arrests being made for others who facilitated those people whilst they have been out of detention.

"But there are serious questions that remain to be asked both about the comparative ease at which people abscond from the facility and the interaction between Serco and the police.

"So will [Mr Jenrick] please look at those issues as well?"

Mr Jenrick thanked Bedfordshire Police for leading on the response, adding: "He's correct, of the eight men who escaped only one now remains at large and we're determined to find him as quickly as possible.

"There are robust security measures at play in IRCs (immigration removal centres), but these are now being reviewed again in light of this incident.

"I met with senior Serco executives to hold them to account for their conduct and to ensure that they take this incident extremely seriously."

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