These remain unprecedented times and we are working as best as we can to continue to deliver our vital work while keeping our clients, volunteers and staff safe. We have created the below FAQ’s about our response and review our position on a monthly basis after which updates are made to this page where relevant.
Are you still delivering legal advice surgeries in prisons and detention centres?
Due to the risk that a COVID-19 outbreak in a detention centre or prison would pose to our clients, we have continued the suspension of our legal advice surgeries in detention centres and prisons. We have taken this action because we believe the risk of our team passing on the virus to people in immigration detention or contracting COVID-19 is too great.
In view of recent Government announcements, we are in the process of contacting IRCs and prisons to understand what changes they have introduced and learn when it will be safe for BID staff and volunteers to deliver legal advice surgeries at prisons and IRCs.
Is the advice line still open?
Yes. BID’s team are currently working from home and we have invested in technology to ensure our Legal Managers and advisors can continue to run the advice line from home. We are however beginning to reintroduce our advice line operation from the office, enabling us to gradually increase the number of calls we can receive and respond to, with the help of volunteers. The advice line is open 10am to 12pm Monday to Thursday on 020 7456 9750.
Can I still apply for bail?
Yes you can still apply for bail to both the Home Office and Tribunal. You can call our advice line for support and read our guides and resources here on the website.
Can BID still help me with my bail application?
Yes. Our team can still provide free legal advice to help with your bail application. You can call our advice line between 10am and 12pm Monday to Thursday on 020 7456 9750 or you can write to us at Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), 1b Finsbury Park Road, London, N4 2LA.
How is BID working to mitigate the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in detention?
There remains a very serious risk that the virus could spread quickly throughout all immigration removal centres. COVID19 is highly infectious and such diseases tend to spread more quickly in prisons and other sites of incarceration.
Additionally we are concerned that measures to prevent the risk or spread of Coronavirus in detention will undermine detainees' access to justice and/or access to medico-legal reports.
We are therefore reviewing how advice is delivered at IRCs and prisons and to assess if we can return to delivering advice at IRCs in a way that would allow all people to be as safe as possible.
Are BID fundraising events including the Hackney Half, London Marathon and London Legal Walk still going ahead?
So far it seems like fundraising events are going ahead as planned this year and we have places for the Hackney Half available. Email [email protected] to take part.
Is there anything I can do to help at this time?
Here are some of the ways you can support us in the coming weeks:
- Financial support: We continue to invest in expensive technology to enable us to work from home as well as from the office. Financial support at this time is therefore very much appreciated.
- Raising Awareness: We publish weekly articles about our work on our website. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date or sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter.