Eight on run from immigration removal centre

May 2, 2023


Eight people are being hunted after they escaped from an immigration removal centre after a riot.

Bedfordshire Police said they fled from the Yarl’s Wood centre in the county last Friday evening.

Police said five were caught but eight more are still at large.

They had escaped through perimeter fencing around the unit which is run for the Home Office by private firm, Serco.

Assistant Chief Constable Karena Thomas said: “During the incident, 13 people made off from the premises through the outer fencing,” she said.

“Five of these have been detained by police but eight others – seven Albanian men in their 20s and one in his 30s – are still being looked for.

“We are continuing to investigate their whereabouts to ensure the safety of the detainees as well as the wider public and wish to reassure people that none of those who have escaped pose any risk to the wider community.

“Staff at the location have regained full control of the building, which is now secure.”

The Home Office said: “There were no injuries to staff or residents.

“There are robust security measures in all immigration removal centres and an incident such as this is extremely rare.

“We treat all security issues extremely seriously and are working closely with the police and our contractors to urgently review measures.”

Yarl’s Wood, in Milton Ernest near Bedford, is an immigration removal centre where people with disputed immigration status can be detained without a defined time limit. It has been run by Serco since 2007.


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