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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 August, 2003, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Security boost at asylum centre
New security measures at the centre will include door alarms
Security is being strengthened at a refugee centre in Cambridgeshire following the escape of 12 asylum seekers.

Work has begun reinforcing fences with security wire and installing new alarms on doors at the Oakington Reception Centre.

The measures follow the escape of 12 asylum seekers, who have yet to be captured, from the flagship centre on 10 August.

Six Romanians, five Moldovans and one from the Czech Republic scaled the perimeter fence and fled at about 2100 BST.

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Sally Chidzoy, said: "According to BBC sources, alarms are being installed on some doors and fences inside the refugee centre are being reinforced with security wire.

"The work started earlier this week and is being rushed through by the Home Office following the escape of the 12 .

"The Home Office is hardening its approach towards asylum seekers with the emphasis switching away from detention to removal.

"Critics of this policy say this explains why more people are trying to escape from centres like Oakington.

"The Home Office would not comment on security issues other than to say such matters are under constant review."

This year 36 asylum seekers have escaped from the centre compared with seven people in 2002.

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