Invite to learn all about Portland’s new Immigration Removal Centre today

OPEN DAY: The Immigration Removal Centre

INVITATION: Manager James Lucas

First published in News
Last updated
Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

PEOPLE are being invited to an open meeting today to learn more about Portland’s new Immigration Removal Centre.

The community consultation open afternoon will give people a chance to meet the team and find out about the changes that have been happening at the former HMP Verne.

Representatives from the IRC, the Home Office, the National Offender Management Service and education provider Weston College will be available to talk to members of the community about what will be happening when the new IRC opens later this year.

There will also be photos of the work currently going on inside the site.

The event will be held at the Jailhouse Cafe at Verne from 2.30pm to 6.30pm.

HMP Verne officially closed as a prison last November and since then staff and contractors have been hard at work making changes before it opens in its new capacity.

As part of the multi-million pound investment in the IRC site, old furniture has been removed from the rooms and new windows, beds, light fittings and smoke alarms will be installed.

There will also be new fences installed inside and security measures.

The IRC will remain part of the public sector providing a contracted service for the Home Office.

The Home Office contract will run until 2018, securing the future of the former isle citadel.

The IRC will house a maximum of 580 men over the age of 18, who have been detained by the Home Office under immigration law.

Staff from both Verne and Dorchester Prison will be working at the new IRC and will be undertaking training for their new roles.

The former governor of The Verne and IRC centre manager James Lucas encouraged members of the public to come to the open day and hear about what will be happening.

He said: “We are really excited about the opportunity to show some of the innovation we have brought to the IRC.”

There will continue to be a strong focus on learning and skills as the prison rerolls to an IRC Mr Lucas said, so that when they went back home the men would have some ‘robust qualifications’ to support themselves.

He said: “While their cases are going through and being processes they can use the time in detention in a positive way.”

Mr Lucas said they want to keep their strong ties to the local community and encouraged everyone to come along and find out more about the site.

He added: “We really hope people come along to the open day and have a coffee and a chat with us.”

Comments (10)

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12:18pm Wed 29 Jan 14

shy talk says...

Expect a lot of Portlander’s might want to be put a few from the Town Council inside for removal !!!
Expect a lot of Portlander’s might want to be put a few from the Town Council inside for removal !!! shy talk
  • Score: 13

1:10pm Wed 29 Jan 14

smilealoft44 says...

Nothing like giving notice to make arrangments to see this . Today is the first i heard of it.
Nothing like giving notice to make arrangments to see this . Today is the first i heard of it. smilealoft44
  • Score: 5

1:27pm Wed 29 Jan 14

PossumGoose says...

This all seems very worthy, but
a) if all these young men are in this country illegally, should we the UK tax payer be paying for their training, so they can then take their new skills home? Come to the UK illegally and receive a nice free training package.
b) just how long do they reckon these men need to be locked up for before their case is determined? If the system was run quickly and fairly, they wouldn’t be in there for long enough to do much meaningful training. Or is this the authorities admitting defeat already?
This all seems very worthy, but a) if all these young men are in this country illegally, should we the UK tax payer be paying for their training, so they can then take their new skills home? Come to the UK illegally and receive a nice free training package. b) just how long do they reckon these men need to be locked up for before their case is determined? If the system was run quickly and fairly, they wouldn’t be in there for long enough to do much meaningful training. Or is this the authorities admitting defeat already? PossumGoose
  • Score: 8

4:42pm Wed 29 Jan 14

common cence says...

smilealoft44 wrote:
Nothing like giving notice to make arrangments to see this . Today is the first i heard of it.
You are not alone , Like ptc they dont want people asking questions .
[quote][p][bold]smilealoft44[/bold] wrote: Nothing like giving notice to make arrangments to see this . Today is the first i heard of it.[/p][/quote]You are not alone , Like ptc they dont want people asking questions . common cence
  • Score: 1

6:35pm Wed 29 Jan 14

smilealoft44 says...

common cence wrote:
smilealoft44 wrote:
Nothing like giving notice to make arrangments to see this . Today is the first i heard of it.
You are not alone , Like ptc they dont want people asking questions .
Common cence, i am also a UKIP member and will be standing in MAY.
I did visit the verne today to ask questions and it was worth the trip.
Some of the people could be there for up to 2 years, depending how far the go with the EU laws put upon us.
[quote][p][bold]common cence[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]smilealoft44[/bold] wrote: Nothing like giving notice to make arrangments to see this . Today is the first i heard of it.[/p][/quote]You are not alone , Like ptc they dont want people asking questions .[/p][/quote]Common cence, i am also a UKIP member and will be standing in MAY. I did visit the verne today to ask questions and it was worth the trip. Some of the people could be there for up to 2 years, depending how far the go with the EU laws put upon us. smilealoft44
  • Score: 4

7:29pm Wed 29 Jan 14

westbaywonder says...

Oh Yes,Make them feel at home why not!!!
Simples ....Ship to international waters and release .
Oh Yes,Make them feel at home why not!!! Simples ....Ship to international waters and release . westbaywonder
  • Score: 1

7:50pm Wed 29 Jan 14

ExitEU says...

The training we give the inmates will better-equip them to beat the system so they can sneak back in and steal our jobs. Better to dumb them down with video games and endless showings of East Enders, Big Brother, Deal Or No Deal, etc., etc... plus, it won't cost the taxpayer anything....
The training we give the inmates will better-equip them to beat the system so they can sneak back in and steal our jobs. Better to dumb them down with video games and endless showings of East Enders, Big Brother, Deal Or No Deal, etc., etc... plus, it won't cost the taxpayer anything.... ExitEU
  • Score: 2

1:19pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Rocksalt says...

common cence wrote:
smilealoft44 wrote:
Nothing like giving notice to make arrangments to see this . Today is the first i heard of it.
You are not alone , Like ptc they dont want people asking questions .
No the advertising hasn't been extensive. That said, there has been a poster on the community notice board in Tesco for weeks.
[quote][p][bold]common cence[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]smilealoft44[/bold] wrote: Nothing like giving notice to make arrangments to see this . Today is the first i heard of it.[/p][/quote]You are not alone , Like ptc they dont want people asking questions .[/p][/quote]No the advertising hasn't been extensive. That said, there has been a poster on the community notice board in Tesco for weeks. Rocksalt
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Thu 30 Jan 14

radiator says...

Why is it necessary to spend huge amounts of money on new windows,furniture, fencing and lighting? isnt the existing good enough for these people.The government can find money for these projects easy enough it seems, and why wasnt the funiture etc brought down from the Dorchester prison when it closed?, wrong colour was it?instead it was scrapped.
Why is it necessary to spend huge amounts of money on new windows,furniture, fencing and lighting? isnt the existing good enough for these people.The government can find money for these projects easy enough it seems, and why wasnt the funiture etc brought down from the Dorchester prison when it closed?, wrong colour was it?instead it was scrapped. radiator
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Rocksalt says...

radiator wrote:
Why is it necessary to spend huge amounts of money on new windows,furniture, fencing and lighting? isnt the existing good enough for these people.The government can find money for these projects easy enough it seems, and why wasnt the funiture etc brought down from the Dorchester prison when it closed?, wrong colour was it?instead it was scrapped.
Don't know about the furniture, but the fencing, lighting etc is to make the IRC more secure than it was as a prison, which it needs to be.I would have thought most people would be pleased it is being made more secure.
[quote][p][bold]radiator[/bold] wrote: Why is it necessary to spend huge amounts of money on new windows,furniture, fencing and lighting? isnt the existing good enough for these people.The government can find money for these projects easy enough it seems, and why wasnt the funiture etc brought down from the Dorchester prison when it closed?, wrong colour was it?instead it was scrapped.[/p][/quote]Don't know about the furniture, but the fencing, lighting etc is to make the IRC more secure than it was as a prison, which it needs to be.I would have thought most people would be pleased it is being made more secure. Rocksalt
  • Score: 0

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