Statement on the facts about the Serco manual
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
The 2010 Serco training manual released today on Crikey is out-dated, is no longer in use, and does not reflect very clear guidelines agreed to by Serco and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on engagement with people in detention facilities.
I am advised that the 2010 manual contained errors and has been superseded by other manuals, most recently the 2012 training guide.
Any use of force or restraint in any detention environment is used strictly as a last resort.
Serco staff in immigration detention facilities do not carry weapons.
As has been reflected in independent reports, such as the recent Hawke-Williams review into last year’s detention incidents on Christmas Island and at Villawood, there are very clear ‘use of force’ guidelines that Serco staff must adhere to.
Defensive actions can only be carried out in response to dangerous and aggressive behaviour and to prevent injury to detainees or staff members. That action must involve the least amount of force necessary to prevent injury and can only be to defend, not to inflict injury.
Appropriate use of restraint may be necessary to prevent a person from harming themselves or others, damaging property or escaping from detention.
Any acts or allegations of improper or inappropriate conduct by Commonwealth officials or Serco employees would be thoroughly investigated and reported to police. Complaints can also be made to the Immigration Ombudsman.This Government takes very seriously its commitment to ensuring people in immigration detention are treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and within the law.
Last update: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 at 18:23 AEST