Last Updated on November 6, 2022
Around 100 detained migrants armed with “knives and wood” staged an insurrection against staff shortly after power went out on Friday evening. The group of migrants broke out of their rooms at a holding facility not far from London’s Heathrow Airport and staged a “protest” in the yard with “various weaponry,” according to a report from the Daily Mail.
Metropolitan police were first dispatched to the Harmondsworth Immigration Detention Center, a male-only facility, on Friday night. The following morning, riot police were dispatched after around 100 migrants armed themselves with knives and clubs.
Despite the volatility of the situation, the migrants were eventually calmed and returned to their rooms. No injuries have been reported to staff or detainees.
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“There has been a power outage at Harmondsworth immigration removal centre, and work is currently underway to resolve this issue,” a Home Office spokesperson said in response to the incident. “We are aware of a disturbance at the centre and the appropriate authorities have been notified and are on scene.”
“The welfare and safety of staff and individuals detained at Harmondsworth is our key priority.”
A spokesman for Mitie, the private company that runs the facility, blamed the power outage on damage to local infrastructure. “The Harmondsworth site of Heathrow immigration removal centre lost electrical power because of an outage in the local area,” he said. “We are working closely with the Home Office to ensure the safety of those in our care while work is carried out on site to resolve the issue.”
According to a report from The Telegraph, the migrants in question were not eligible for a government program that has placed over 40,000 migrants in hotels. The taxpayer-funded program — a variation of which is being implemented in New York and Los Angeles — has placed migrants in rooms next to paying customers.
The hotel plan was hatched during the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently costing taxpayers around £7 million per day, Breitbart News reported.