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Investigation into death of man at immigration removal centre on Portland

The entrance to HMP Verne on Portland. Credit: PA Images

An investigation has been launched into the death of a man at an immigration removal centre on Portland.

The 43-year-old man - who is yet to be identified - had been detained at the Verne on the island when he died on Sunday.

The former prison has been an immigration removal centre since September 2014 but has been the subject of concern for its effect on detainees.

A Home Office spokeswoman said:

We can confirm that a 43-year-old man who had been detained at the Verne Immigration Removal Centre died at the centre on 9 April 2017.

Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time. A full independent investigation will be conducted by the prisons and probation ombudsman."

– Home Office spokeswoman
The former prison has been an immigration removal centre since 2014. Credit: PA Images

The former prison has been an immigration removal centre since September 2014 but has been the subject of concern for its effect on detainees.

Campaigners said last month many of the 500 detainees there have little or no indication of how long they will be held.

The Home Officer said people are held for the minimum time possible and are never detained indefinitely with 64% in detention for less than nine days last year and 93% for less than four months.

Like other immigration removal centres it is used to house overseas offenders and asylum seekers while their cases are decided or after their leave to remain in the UK has been refused.