Migrant Centre staff 'sexually assaulted' and workers threatened with murder
Migrant centre staff claimed to have been sexually assaulted while others were threatened with kidnap and murder during a riot at Britain's biggest immigration removal camp, a Home Office report has found.
A leaked document from the government department detailed minute by minute the mayhem that unfolded.
The events took place at the Harmondsworth site in Hillingdon, west London last November after a power-cut.
The dossier gives far more details about what happened in the riot than have previously been revealed.
At the time, immigration minister Robert Jenrick claimed on social media that "no staff or individuals detained there were hurt".
However, the report paints a starkly different picture.
In a three hour event, migrants threatened to kidnap and murder staff, made make-shift weapons, and even started a fire.
One employee quoted in the report said: "I initially spoke to (redacted), however (they) ended up being assaulted and three large groups of Albanians, Vietnamese and North Africans looked like they were having turf wars."
Another said: “The concerted indiscipline escalated very quickly with the start of it being the fire in the courtyard.”
A third added: "It was quite disjointed and demoralising".
The police investigated all the allegations made at the time, but decided against taking further action.
A Home Office source told the Sunday Express: “Mr Jenrick tweeted before the full scale of the incident was known and some of the alleged injuries were not reported until November 6, a day after his tweet.
“The earlier evacuation was halted because it would have taken all night to complete and it was felt at the time it could have led to more disruption, so it was best to wait until daylight hours when more staff were available.
“No weapons were used in any of the assaults (on staff) and the Met Police investigated all criminal allegations made during the disorder, including the alleged sex assault, but chose to take no further action.”
As many as 100 failed asylum seekers were took part in the riot.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Following a power cut at Harmondsworth on November 4 we saw unacceptable levels of violence and disorder.
“Home Office staff, contractors and officers from the prison service and the Metropolitan police worked tirelessly and professionally throughout the night to control the situation and ensure the quickest and safest evacuation of everyone staying there.
“The safety of staff and residents was the priority throughout our response to this power outage.”