Page last updated at 18:48 GMT, Saturday, 14 June 2008 19:48 UK

Riot alert at immigration centre


A police cordon has been set up around the centre

A team of prison officers has helped to restore order at an immigration detention centre after a disturbance.

The team, dressed in riot gear, went into Campsfield House in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, to escort detainees back to their rooms, the Home Office said.

Earlier small fires had been started and one person suffered smoke inhalation, but no detainees escaped.

Detainees were held in an exercise yard to calm down. It is the latest in a number of disturbances at the centre.

A Home Office spokeswoman said on Saturday evening: "There is no trouble ongoing. Everything is under control, it is being wound down."

Troubled past

Earlier about 10 fire engines, 50 police officers and a police helicopter were sent to the scene after smoke was seen billowing from the centre.

A police cordon was set up around the centre and dog handlers patrolled the perimeters. There were no serious injuries reported.

This is the fourth reported disturbance in the last 16 months
Evan Harris, local MP

The Home Office spokeswoman said: "It hasn't been a major incident. It is all over now and people are being taken back to their rooms."

There have been a series of problems at the centre.

In March 2007 nine people were hurt in a disturbance and in August last year 26 men fled after a fire, with eight still on the run.

Another 120 detainees rioted in December.

Evan Harris, Liberal Democrats MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said: "The primary concern is for the safety of the inmates and staff.

"This is the fourth reported disturbance in the last 16 months and suggests there is something seriously wrong either with the Home Office systems or the management of the centre."

Campsfield was converted to a detention centre holding 200 male asylum seekers in 1993 and is run by the American company GEO.

Detainees moved after disturbance
17 Dec 07 |  Oxfordshire
Criticism after centre break-out
06 Aug 07 |  Oxfordshire
Centre escapees 'all criminals'
05 Aug 07 |  Oxfordshire
Mass escape from detention centre
05 Aug 07 |  Oxfordshire
Detainees' hunger strike on hold
03 Aug 07 |  Oxfordshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific