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05th Nov 2022

Major disturbance at London immigration centre as riot police called in

Steve Hopkins

The detainees were said to be armed with knives and bits of wood

Detainees armed with “various weaponry” caused a disturbance at a London immigration removal centre during a power outage, the Home Office said on Saturday.

Over 100 detainees reportedly broke into the courtyard of the Harmondsworth immigration removal centre, close to Heathrow Airport, at around 2am on Saturday, with some reportedly armed with knives and bits of wood, the Mirror reported.

The detainees left their rooms and went into the courtyard at the immigration centre “armed with various weaponry”, the Home Office confirmed.

The incident took place during a power outage and the power was still out just before 9am.

The government said no detainees had left the premises in west London, and those involved had since been returned to their rooms.

Staff were reportedly moved from the area.

Riot police and a helicopter were reportedly called to the scene to restore order as attempts were made to get power supplies running again. Police officers and the HM Prison Service are at the scene.

The incident comes as the government has faced widespread criticism this week for its handling of overcrowding at an immigration centre in Kent.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “There has been a power outage at Harmondsworth immigration removal centre, and work is currently underway to resolve this issue.

“We are aware of a disturbance at the centre and the appropriate authorities have been notified and are on scene.

“The welfare and safety of staff and individuals detained at Harmondsworth is our key priority.”

There have been no arrests or injuries and it’s believed that the situation is now under control.

The cause of the power cuts is unknown.

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