Manston Security Contract Extended by One Year

18 August 2023

Despite the failures at Manston Processing Centre to provide adequate care for people seeking safety, the contract with the private security services there has been renewed for another year. Once again profit, not people, is being put at the centre of our asylum system.

The contract awarded to Management & Training Corporation, currently providing security services at the Manston detention centre, has been extended by a year. Management & Training Corporation (MTC), which also operates private prisons in the US, was also responsible for services at another site, Rainsbrook, with a contract that was terminated after Ofsted inspections raised serious concerns over conditions, including children being locked up almost constantly throughout the pandemic.

The extension comes despite serious concerns already raised about the conditions and treatment of asylum seekers at Manston Processing Centre, including outbreaks of diseases such as diphtheria. Internal documents accessed by Liberty Investigates detail the frequent use of restraint and force against detainees, many of whom were forced to sleep on the floor and in makeshift facilities because of overcrowding. The conditions were described as creating an atmosphere that resulted in fights, self-harm, and suicide attempts among detainees, many of whom arrived at the site with a history of torture and trauma. A visit by a delegation from a Council of Europe committee determined that the conditions at the site may have amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment, while the HM Inspectorate of Prisons has called on the Home Office to act on its concerns around the use of force, excessive detention lengths, and the safeguarding of those held at Manston.

The Home Office has claimed that contracts are awarded on the principle of providing the “best value” to taxpayers. Who receives the benefit or value of quasi-detention sites for people fleeing war and persecution? Where is the value in the blatant disregard for the rights and care of people seeking safety? As the government seeks to expand its detention estate and move asylum seekers to inappropriate accommodation facilities such as barges – already found in cases to be unsafe and prison-like – these repeated risks of cruelty already seen at Manston must be stopped.


Sarah (Campaigns Volunteer) and Iona Taylor (Advocacy and Campaigns Lead).

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