Detention and Escorting
3rd Floor Apollo House
36 Wellesley Rd
15 September 2020
Dear Ms Esslemont,
REF: FOI 60222
Thank you for your email dated 03 September 2020 requesting information on deaths and self
harm incidents in immigration removal centres (IRC). Your request has been handled as a request
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your full request can be found in Annex A.
Under Section 12 of the Act, the Home Office is not obliged to comply with an information request
where to do so would exceed the designated cost limit of £600 specified in the Freedom of
Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. The reasons for
the engagement of the Section 12 exemption is explained as follows. To collate the range of
information you have requested would exceed the £600 limit and we are therefore unable to
comply with your request. To provide you with some context regarding the scale of your
information request it may be helpful to explain that each individual self harm record would need to
be examined and scrutinised in order to ascertain if there had been a suicide attempt.
The £600 limit is based on work being carried out at a rate of £25 per hour, which equates to 24
hours of work per request. The cost of locating, retrieving and extracting information can be
included in the costs for these purposes. The costs do not include considering whether any
information is exempt from disclosure, overheads such as heating or lighting, or items such as
photocopying or postage.
Section 16 of the Act states that we must include advice, wherever possible, on how you might
refine the request to bring it under the limit. For example, by reducing the time period requested to
a shorter period, reduces the amount of information that would need to be scrutinised.
Even if a new request were to fall below the £600 limit, the information you request might be
withheld under the terms of a number of substantive exemptions contained in part II of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. These exemptions could also make it necessary for us to
extend the period of responding beyond the usual 20 working day target if they involve having to
consider the public interest balancing test.
Please note that breaking a request down into a series of similar smaller requests may still be
declined if the total cost exceeds £600.
You may find it useful to know that the data on the number of deaths of people detained under
immigration powers in each year are published at the following link (Detention, table 05): https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/immigration-statistics-data-tables-year-ending-
If you are dissatisfied with this response you may request an independent internal review of our
handling of your request by submitting a complaint within two months to firstname.lastname@example.org,
quoting reference 60222. If you ask for an internal review, it
would be helpful if you could say why you are dissatisfied with the response.
As part of any internal review the Department's handling of your information request would be re
assessed by staff who were not involved in providing you with this response. If you were to remain
dissatisfied after an internal review, you would have a right of complaint to the Information
Commissioner as established by section 50 of the FOIA.
Yours sincerely, Detention and Escorting Services
Please provide the number of times the below outcomes - taking place within immigration detention
- were recorded between 1 April 2019 and 1 April 2020. Please disagregate by outcome 'type':
- Recorded deaths in detention
- Number of detainees held, who have made 'threat of self harm'
- Number of detainees held, who have made a known suicide attemptI understand that figures may
be double-counted, which is why this request is for the number of logged 'incidents' rather than
Please note that the data should account for the number of times these outcomes have occured
during the outlined period. For the purpose of this request, please note that 'immigration detention'
refers to people being held under Immigration Powers, including those in Immigration Removal
Centres, Short-Term Holding Facilities and HMPs as per previous responses to such requests