RESIDENTS will be able to find out more about supporting those held at Dorset’s new Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) at a meeting tonight.

The former Verne prison on Portland is reopening as an IRC after an extensive refurbishment.

It will house up to 580 men over 18 who have been detained by the Home Office under immigration law.

The Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees (AVID) is hosting an ‘awareness raising event’ in Weymouth to discuss the opening. AVID will be joined by a panel of speakers from Detention Action and Morton Hall Detainee Visitors Group, as well as a speaker with personal experience of detention, to discuss indefinite detention, and how people in Dorset can get involved in supporting detainees.

AVID’s director Ali McGinley said: “We hope the event will be a valuable opportunity for people to come along and find out more about the realities of immigration detention in the UK, what life will be like for those held at the Verne, and how they can help by getting involved in setting up a local visitors group to support them.”

The public meeting ‘Indefinite Detention: IRC The Verne’ will be held at St John’s Church, Greenhill tonight at 6.45pm.