The Home Office has leased an aircraft hangar and airplane body to provide training for security personnel on the process of deporting individuals, as the UK government is ramping up its efforts to forcibly remove more people annually.
Authorities verified on Friday that the department had raised its ability to educate officials in conducting deportations, including addressing individuals who resist physically. The Times was the first to report the specifics of the program’s growth.
The government has been providing specialized training for several years, and it will now be extended to staff involved in deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. This is part of the government’s efforts to start flights to the central African country by spring.
A spokesperson from the Home Office stated that, since 2015, the government has established training facilities for escorts in order to effectively handle the task of removing individuals who do not have permission to be in the UK. This includes practical training to equip escorts with the necessary skills to manage various situations.
“As we increase our efforts in removal activities, we will also ensure that new escorts are equipped with the necessary training facilities.”
According to a government insider, the department has recently rented a hangar and fuselage to train staff on how to escort individuals onto planes and handle potential resistance, whether it be physical or verbal.
It comes as the government steadily increases the number of people it deports after a sharp drop during Covid and as a result of the new returns deal with Albania. In the year to March 2023, Britain forcibly returned 4,193 people, nearly a third more than in the previous 12 months.
According to sources, security personnel working on flights to Rwanda will also receive training. Additionally, ministers are actively advocating for the first flight to depart in the spring.
This week, Members of Parliament approved the Rwanda legislation without making any changes. However, it must still undergo a two-month period of discussion in the House of Lords before going back to the Commons for potential additional changes. Rishi Sunak has made the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda a central part of his strategy to prevent small boats from crossing the Channel.
The prime minister announced on Friday that a deterrent is necessary to completely address this issue. This will prevent those who enter the country illegally from being able to stay and they will be deported instead.
This is the reason why the Rwanda plan holds great significance, and I am committed to passing it through parliament and implementing it as soon as possible in order to effectively address this issue.