The group of local volunteers who oversee the treatment of detainees congratulate the staff for their work over the past three years. Around seventeen thousand men passed through The Verne during its time as an immigration removal centre. A large proportion of these had mental health problems but they were dealt with considerable understanding and sensitivity by staff at all levels.
In its annual report, IMB The Verne notes that:
- The IRC continues to be a well-run establishment where, in the main, detainees have been treated with decency, fairness and respect.
- The Centre has housed a diverse global community and considerable effort was made to respond to these varied cultural and dietary needs.
- Over the past three years, detainees with behavioural difficulties have been treated with commendable patience and respect.
However, the Board found it necessary, once again, to express its disapproval of the numbers of detainees arriving at the Centre in the early hours. It also reiterated its concern at the lack of appropriate accommodation for detainees with suspected tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.
IMB The Verne Chair, Chris Miller, said:
“With the closure of the immigration removal centre at The Verne, the Board wishes to record its appreciation of the work of the staff over the past forty-five months. Staff at all levels had rapidly to adjust to the needs of a population very different from the prison they had known. A minority of the detainees were aggressive and violent. These were handled with minimum control and restraint. We often observed instances of very disturbed individuals being shown exemplary patience and understanding by staff who had no formal training in mental health care. We hope that all staff will look back with pride on what they achieved”.
Read the report in full here.