The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) for Cedars PDA (Pre-Departure Accommodation) publishes its annual report. Their report describes much good work that has been done to care for and support those who have been resident in the centre. It also raises some concerns and makes recommendations for the new Gatwick PDA. This is the final report, as Cedars ceased operating as a PDA in October 2016.
14 families were resident at Cedars during 2016. Of these, two were removed from the UK and 12 were released into the community. The concerns and recommendations outlined in the report are not all specific to Cedars, but rather to wider immigration policies and procedures to which it is subject.
Inside Cedars families have generally been cared for and supported very well. However, they often find the steps taken to arrest and transport them very stressful. They can also be at risk after release. The report recommends that families’ complaints about their arrest and transfer should be dealt with as quickly as possible so that lessons can be learned where necessary. Board members also ask that they be notified of the outcome of such complaints.
Looking ahead to the new PDA, the IMB stresses that it will monitor carefully the welfare and safeguarding of families when these become predominantly the responsibility of the G4S welfare team without input from Barnardo’s.