UK: End to indefinite immigration detention could save £30m per year

UK: End to indefinite immigration detention could save £30m per year

An end to indefinite immigration detention in the UK could save around £30 million per year, according to a new report.

Human rights group Liberty commissioned not-for-profit economic data specialists Cambridge Econometrics to examine the economic impact of scrapping indefinite immigration detention in favour of a statutory 28-day limit.

Their report, Economic Impacts of Immigration Detention Reform, finds that a 28-day time limit for everyone in immigration detention could more than halve the Home Office’s yearly detention outlay.

The UK is the only country in Europe without a statutory time limit on immigration detention. Around a third of people in immigration detention are held for more than 28 days; the majority are released within a year.

The report finds that shorter detention lengths, accompanied by an anticipated decline in compensation payments for wrongful detention, would save around £60 million.

Additional costs from providing alternatives to detention, for example in the community, are unlikely to exceed £30 million and could be as low as £6 million.

Based on this, Cambridge Econometrics said a 28-day time limit supported by alternative provision could deliver potential net savings of around £30 million each year.

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