Yarl's Wood prison, where many women are locked up despite being charged with no crime

Yarl’s Wood prison, where many women are locked up despite being charged with no crime

Serco, the notorious corporation with staff members who committed the most appalling abuse against women and children, has been given a second contract by the government.

The Home Office renewed the private security giant’s contract to run a controversial women’s immigration detention centre where staff have been accused of sexual misconduct.

It paid £70 million to Serco to operate Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire over the next eight years.

Yarl’s Wood is one of the largest detention centres in the UK for women facing deportation.

As well as the sexual misconduct claims, they include accusations that women – including pregnant detainees – have been locked up for long spells and held without justification.

Two staff members were fired for raping a detainee, while a third was sacked for failing to act when the detainee reported the incident.

Detainee’s have also recounted how they are constantly spied upon by male staff while they are getting changed or in the shower.

The multi-million security firm also runs prisons, asylum seekers’ accommodation and supervision schemes for offenders.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, said the contract should not have been renewed until a full independent inquiry had been held into the centre’s operation.

“It is important immigration rules are enforced, but they must be enforced in a humane way that upholds the values of our society. Too often Serco’s Yarl’s Wood operation appears to have fallen below the high standards we would expect.”

Prison inspectors found many detainees, none of whom have been charged with an offence, have been held for long periods, including one for almost four years, as well as cases of women with mental health problems being detained.

So far, no investigation of the connections between Serco and the Tory party have been carried out.

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