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Yarl's Wood: Serco appoints Kate Lampard to carry out Independent Review

Published: 2 Mar 2015

Serco has been informed that Channel 4 News is planning to broadcast on its programme this evening 'undercover footage' taken inside Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre. We have not seen the footage but have been told that this includes recordings of comments made by one or more of our staff. Yarl's Wood is managed by Serco on behalf of the Home Office. Serco does not have responsibility for providing healthcare within the centre or for the transportation of detainees.

Serco works hard to ensure that the highest standards are maintained at Yarl's Wood. We recognise that the public needs to be confident that Yarl's Wood is undertaking its difficult role with professionalism, care and humanity. This is why we have asked the highly respected former barrister, Kate Lampard CBE, to conduct an independent review of our work at Yarl's Wood.

James Thorburn, Managing Director of Serco's Home Affairs business, said: "None of the Channel 4 footage has been provided to us, so I cannot know the entirety of what was said, but I would be shocked and angry if anybody we employ was talking about people in our care in a disrespectful or obnoxious manner. My feelings will be shared by the vast majority of our colleagues at Yarl's Wood who take their responsibilities very seriously and I am proud of the difficult work that they do. We will not tolerate poor conduct or disrespect and will take disciplinary action wherever appropriate.

"We work hard to ensure that the highest standards of conduct are maintained at Yarl's Wood and Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons has found the Centre to be a safe and respectful place. We are conscious that we are working in a particularly challenging environment at Yarl's Wood, looking after 300 women detained during the final stages of their removal proceedings. The public will want to be confident that Yarl's Wood is doing its difficult task with professionalism, care and humanity. Accordingly, we have asked Kate Lampard, who has immense experience and credibility, to carry out an independent review into our work at Yarl's Wood."