LONDON – Armed detainees caused a ruckus at the London immigration center near Heathrow Airport on Friday night during a power outage.
The Home Office said on Saturday that people were being transferred to other centers at Harmondsworth Jail while technicians fixed power and repaired damage.
“Thankfully, despite clear evidence of unacceptable levels of violence and disorder, no staff working there or individuals detained were injured,” said Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick. .
“Perpetrators of this unrest will be held accountable and, where appropriate, deported from the country as soon as practicable,” he added.
The UK government is grappling with how to deal with record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats from northern Europe.
A London Metropolitan Police officer was present at the incident at 7.45pm on Friday and was at the scene on Saturday, police said.
The UK government has taken a defensive stance this week after reports that around 4,000 people are being held at the Manston reception facility, which was supposed to hold just 1,600, near Dover on the south coast.
Last Sunday, a Molotov cocktail was also thrown at another reception facility in Dover by a man who was later found dead.
During the incident at the center near Heathrow on Friday, the PA news agency said “a group of detainees left the room and walked out into the courtyard area armed with various weapons”.
The image shows professional police officers arriving with riot gear.
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/armed-detainees-cause-disturbance-at-uk-immigration-centre ‘Armed’ detainees cause chaos at UK immigration center