Demonstration of solidarity for Shay's family: Thursday, 27th April, 9.15am, steps of Manchester Magistrates Court
On 12th April, the Home Office subcontractor Migrant Help finally offered the family emergency accommodation in a flat in Liverpool on the same day that the MEN carried this report.
The family’s acceptance of this offer was witnessed by both Stockport Social Services staff and RAPAR members.
A few hours later though, the Home Office subcontractor arranged for the family to be taken instead to a Manchester City Centre hotel location. Believing that they were being returned to a Serco run contingency hotel where they would, once again, be subject to 24/7 surveillance by Serco, being unable to control who came into their living space at any time, or what or when they ate, the family refused to register at the hotel and, once again, a Stockport resident stepped in to shelter them.
It took another a week to get to the bottom of this miscommunication between different parts of the Home Office sub-contractor system that had led to this last-minute change of offer and its subsequent rejection by the family. In the meantime, Migrant Voice’s report into hotels secured national coverage further confirming what RAPAR has been reporting since the summer of 2022 and what Refugee Action had also found in their report published last month.
Then last Friday, when the family were finally able to speak with Migrant Help again, they were repeatedly assured that, once again, they would be offered emergency accommodation and not a hotel room. In fact, they were taken to Serco’s Britannia Hotel in Didsbury. This is the exact hotel where RAPAR first exposed human rights violations that date back to the spring of 2022. Further, as the family were in the reception area in Didsbury one of the Serco staff directly implicated in their allegations of abuse and assault at the Stockport Hotel actually phoned through to the reception to confirm that they were there, further traumatising the family and triggering flashbacks. Once again the family returned to the Stockport resident sheltering them.
From this coming Thursday, 27th April, their current shelter will no longer be available for them and, on the same day, they must present at Manchester Magistrates Court at 9.30 am, to plead before a District Judge. This follows their being arrested and charged upon discharge from Stepping Hill hospital last November.
On 18th November 2022, Stepping Hill Hospital wrote to mum and dad stating that “We have been informed that Serco have investigated your concerns, that investigation has been shared with GMP, and GMP have determined that it is not in the public interest for them to investigate”. So far, when the Home Office, the Hospital and Social Services have attempted to justify their actions, they have often referred to the fact that there is no ongoing investigation into allegations of assault and abuse. However, on 12th April, the MEN reported that “GMP confirmed an investigation into a suspected assault on Shay at the hotel where they lived is ongoing, but no arrests have been made.”
RAPAR is calling for a short demonstration of solidarity with this family before they enter to plead before a District Judge. Come along and please send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, 27th April, steps of Manchester Magistrates Court, 09.15 Manchester Magistrates Court:, Manchester, M60 1PR