Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 20:08 UK

Three on run from detention unit

Escaped Campsfield detainees: Abdesalam Tarik Ben, Abdelhak Morid and Mohammed Aref Hosseini
Three men, described as low risk by police, are still on the run

Three men are still on the run from Campsfield immigration centre after seven detainees escaped overnight.

The Home Office said the detainees broke out at 0345 BST, with four since recaptured.

Police shut a road leading to the centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, and continue to search the area.

On Saturday, a team of prison officers in riot gear were brought in to restore order after a number of fires were started at the centre.

A Home Office spokesman said: "We are currently working with police to recapture a very small number of detainees.

"This is an ongoing operation so we cannot comment further."

Earlier, four of the detainees were still on the run, but a Libyan man was recaptured near botanical gardens in central Oxford at about 1400 BST.

Thames Valley Police described him as a low risk illegal immigrant who had a criminal record and was awaiting deportation.

These continual incidents are unacceptable to local people and for the welfare of staff and detainees
Evan Harris,
MP for Oxford West and Abingdon

Abdesalam Tarik Ben, Abdelhak Morid and Mohammed Aref Hosseini are still at large. Two of the men are Palestinian and one is an Afghan.

Police also described them as low risk illegal immigrants.

Insp Graham Sutherland, said: "I would like to reassure people that we are doing all that we can to find these men.

"We have 22 officers searching the area and their details have been circulated to officers across the force. We are also liaising with neighbouring forces.

"None of these men is considered to be a risk to the public.

"I would ask that if anyone does see any of these men that they should not approach them but instead call the police."

The centre has been the scene of problems in the past with 26 men escaping last August following a fire. Eight of the men are still on the run.

Campsfield "incident"
Police have set up a cordon around the immigration centre
In March 2007 nine people were hurt in a disturbance and another 120 detainees rioted in December 2007.

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

Thames Valley Police said it was working with GEO as well as the UK Border Agency to locate the missing detainees.

Earlier, three of the seven escapees were found within one mile of Campsfield, one on a BMX bike on the A44, the other on foot on the A44 and the other was found with a leg injury.

The immigration minister, Liam Byrne, told the BBC some of those recaptured had serious injuries.

'Fundamental problem'

"The people were actually quite seriously injured, broken ankles, very serious cuts on the razor wire and so on.

"We do need to build new detention centres and that's why earlier this year I announced that we were going to increase the number of places by about 60% over the next couple of years and the first of those detention centres will open in February."

Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said: "This must tell the Home Office there is a fundamental problem with the way the centre is run.

"These continual incidents are unacceptable to local people and for the welfare of staff and detainees.

"This time it must be a fully independent investigation, previously there have been independent Home Office reviews which is unsatisfactory."

He added there may also be a need for a public inquiry.

GEO, which runs the centre, declined to comment about the incident.

Riot alert at immigration centre
14 Jun 08 |  Oxfordshire
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

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