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IMB response to the findings of the Brook House Inquiry

Abuse of any detained person is unacceptable and the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), as an external oversight body, is one part of a suite of protections that have been put in place to guard against inhumane treatment. It is entirely fair therefore, that questions were asked over why the abuse of detained men at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre, uncovered during the BBC Panorama programme in September 2017, was not identified by the Brook House IMB.

The fact that no oversight bodies detected this abuse, which is recognised in the report, shows the difficulty of identifying behaviour which is unlikely to be exhibited in front of external observers. Since the programme aired our focus has been on how we as a whole organisation can learn from what happened, and how we can adapt our monitoring to ensure we are alive to the possibility of unseen or hidden abuse. A number of our practices have been updated to increase awareness of indicators of possible mistreatment.

Now the Inquiry has published its findings we will be spending the coming weeks reviewing the report and recommendations to establish what further learning the IMB can implement.