Alternatives to detention

United Kingdom


Refugee Council

Alternatives to detention are permitted by legislation but not required. Permitted are:

  • Electronic tagging;1

  • Regular reporting;2

  • Bail with sureties;3

  • Residence restrictions.4

Guidelines say that detention should only be used as a last resort. However, no proof is required that alternatives are not effective. Residence restrictions and regular reporting are routinely applied to all asylum seekers, and bail will always include residence restrictions and reporting. Breach of these conditions may result in detention. Electronic tagging is in frequent use mainly for ex-offenders and may be a bail condition. Numbers of asylum seekers tagged are not available. 

In September 2016, Detention Action published a report on community-based alternatives to detention, exploring their potential use in the immigration control context and calling for their further development.5

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti