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Methodology of the Inquiry

  1. A detailed summary of the Inquiry’s methodology is set out in detail in Appendix 1 in Volume III.

Call for evidence

  1. When this Inquiry was opened, there was a call for evidence from staff, formerly detained people and anyone else involved in or affected by Brook House to share their experiences of Brook House during the relevant period. To facilitate this, the Inquiry established a freephone number and freepost address, and set out key information on its website, which was translated into 17 languages.
  2. On 23 November 2020, the Inquiry sought from the Home Secretary a limited undertaking to the effect that any evidence given to the Inquiry by a former detained person would not be used by the Secretary of State to support certain adverse immigration decisions. The undertaking, which was formally accepted on 4 August 2021, was intended to give those who were detained at Brook House some comfort, and to encourage them to come forward and give evidence to the Inquiry without fear of repercussions.1
  3. Significant efforts were made by the Inquiry to contact formerly detained people, current and former staff members at Brook House, as well as other G4S staff and other relevant witnesses. The Inquiry attempted to contact potential witnesses by either post, telephone or email (or a combination of these where appropriate). While correspondence was generally sent in English, translation and interpretation services were made available to all formerly detained people. The Inquiry also engaged a specialist external witness-tracing service to conduct open-source searches to try to identify up-to-date contact details where necessary. The external witness-tracing service was also used to attempt to identify the email and postal addresses of key witnesses who were believed to be outside the UK. In addition, the Inquiry authorised funding under section 40 of the Inquiries Act 2005 for Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group (which provides a range of emotional and practical support to detained people at Gatwick IRCs – see below, under Language) and Detention Action (an organisation that works with people in immigration detention) to contact their clients who may have had experiences relevant to the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. This resulted in a number of additional formerly detained people being identified, and attempts were made by the Inquiry to contact these individuals, some of whom provided statements to the Inquiry.

Evidence considered

  1. The Inquiry received and reviewed over 90 hours of undercover recordings made for the BBC by Mr Tulley at Brook House, along with 36 video diaries in which he summarised events that took place on particular shifts he had worked. More than four hours of the key footage was disclosed to Core Participants in video format and other relevant material was provided in transcripts. The Inquiry also obtained closed-circuit television (CCTV), body worn and handheld camera footage relating to specific incidents within the relevant period. This footage was reviewed and where relevant disclosed to Core Participants. In addition, the Inquiry disclosed more than 100,000 pages of documentary material to Core Participants.
  2. While the Inquiry heard and received evidence from a relatively small proportion of those who were detained at Brook House, this is in many ways unsurprising. Many of those detained at Brook House during the relevant period have since been deported or left the UK. In addition, those who remained in the UK may have been hesitant to engage with the Inquiry due to their uncertain immigration status or because they did not feel able to talk publicly about their experiences at Brook House. Those formerly detained people who were willing and able to give oral evidence were called to do so. It is important to acknowledge that there are many formerly detained people from whom the Inquiry did not hear or receive evidence, some of whom are also likely to have had negative experiences similar to those described by witnesses. As such, the evidence provided to the Inquiry is unlikely to be representative of the experiences of every detained person at Brook House.
  3. I do not doubt that, during the relevant period, there were members of staff working at Brook House who genuinely cared for detained people and treated them well. Indeed, I heard evidence of compassion and kindness shown by some members of staff to detained people at Brook House.2 However, that does not mean that the poor treatment of detained people, about which the Inquiry heard evidence, were isolated incidents, nor does some positive conduct excuse abuse. Mr Tulley only filmed during his allotted shift times over 36 days, and yet he was able to film many incidents within a short period of time. It is inherently unlikely that the only incidents of this kind that occurred during the relevant period happened, by coincidence, to take place during the particular shifts when Mr Tulley was working, and at the particular times and locations where he was filming.
  4. For different reasons, the oral evidence heard by the Inquiry from members of staff working at Brook House during the relevant period is also unlikely to be representative of the experiences of every member of staff. This is because a large number of the staff working at Brook House during the relevant period provided some form of written evidence to the Inquiry (whether by completing a questionnaire or providing a witness statement), and those who gave oral evidence were chosen to do so because they provided particularly relevant evidence about cultural problems at Brook House, or because they were potentially involved in alleged mistreatment. Those members of staff who raised no issue with the culture or practices at Brook House during the relevant period, and who were not known to be potentially involved in alleged mistreatment, were not called to give oral evidence. When making findings, reaching conclusions and making recommendations within this Report, I have taken this into account and I have considered both the written evidence that was received by the Inquiry (including staff questionnaires) and the oral evidence that was heard by the Inquiry.
  5. The Inquiry heard evidence that Mr Tulley himself had, occasionally, made inappropriate comments while working at Brook House. For example, DCO Daniel Small alleged that Mr Tulley had used inappropriate language, such as shouting “wet dick” and making “sex noises”.3 Mr Tulley denied some of the comments attributed to him, and told the Inquiry that he had to maintain his cover, that he did not make such comments in front of detained people, and that he never used any racially charged language in the time that he worked at Brook House.4 Having read and heard Mr Tulley’s extensive evidence, it is right to observe that he was in a unique position as a working DCO and undercover reporter. As part of his role as an undercover reporter, he was required to act in accordance with an agreed protocol for undercover operatives.5 I am satisfied that Mr Tulley acted in the way that he did in order to avoid arousing any suspicion that he was acting undercover.6 Also, I do not consider that Mr Tulley encouraged incidents to occur when they might not otherwise have done, nor that he entrapped officers in any way. In addition, I do not accept any of the allegations made by some former Brook House staff that the footage recorded by Mr Tulley was edited in a misleading way, dubbed or otherwise doctored by the BBC or by anyone else.7
  6. While the Inquiry will not have heard evidence of the full extent of the incidents that took place at Brook House during the relevant period, I reach my conclusions and make recommendations on the basis of the evidence before the Inquiry.
  7. The Inquiry also appointed three experts: Professor Mary Bosworth (cultural expert), Dr James Hard (medical expert) and Mr Jonathan Collier (use of force expert), who produced detailed reports and gave oral evidence at the Inquiry’s hearings. The evidence and opinions of each of these expert witnesses were of great assistance in evaluating the evidence collected and heard throughout this Inquiry, particularly those concerning technical matters, such as techniques used by officers during use of force incidents. However, I am not bound to accept their opinions, nor have I done so on every point. The conclusions reached and the comments made throughout this Report are my own.

Core Participants

  1. In April 2020, I formally invited applications from individuals and organisations who wished to be considered for Core Participant status in accordance with Rule 5 of the Inquiry Rules 2006. Core Participants have rights in the Inquiry process, including receiving disclosure of documentation, being legally represented, making submissions and suggesting lines of enquiry. They – as well as witnesses – were also able to apply to the Inquiry for funding to cover legal and other costs.
  2. The Inquiry granted Core Participant status to:
  • 12 formerly detained people;
  • four former members of Brook House staff;
  • the BBC;
  • G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd, which managed Brook House during the relevant period;
  • G4S Health Services (UK) Ltd, which provided healthcare services at Brook House during the relevant period;
  • Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, a charity that offered emotional and practical support to detained people on a daily basis at Brook House;
  • the Home Office, which has been responsible for the management of Brook House since its opening, including during the relevant period;
  • HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, the head of HM Inspectorate of Prisons, an independent body which inspects and reports on conditions for, and treatment of, those in IRCs, as well as in other institutions such as prisons and young offender institutions;
  • the National Chair and Management Board of Independent Monitoring Boards on behalf of the members of the Brook House IMB, which monitored the welfare of those detained at the centre;
  • Medical Justice, a non-governmental organisation that provides medico-legal reports and advice to detained people;
  • Practice Plus Group, which has provided healthcare services at Brook House since September 2021; and
  • Serco Group PLC, which has managed Brook House since May 2020.


  1. The Inquiry’s public hearings took place over 46 days (divided into two phases, between 23 November 2021 and 6 April 2022), with oral evidence from 78 witnesses including four formerly detained people.8 In addition, 23 written witness statements from people formerly detained at Brook House were summarised by agreement between the Inquiry and the witnesses’ legal representatives and then read into evidence. In total, the Inquiry heard evidence (read and live) from 25 formerly detained people.9


  1. Letter from Chair of Brook House Inquiry to Home Office Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Chris Phelp MP, 4 August 2021[]
  2. Owen Syred 7 December 2021 30/25-31/3, 112/11-24[]
  3. Daniel Small 28 February 2022 130/1-3[]
  4. Callum Tulley 30 November 2021 58/25-59/20; Callum Tulley 9 March 2022 157/19-161/1[]
  5. CPS000025[]
  6. Callum Tulley 30 November 2021 58/25-59/20[]
  7. Ioannis Paschali 24 February 2022 117/23-119/7; Derek Murphy 2 March 2022 79/25-80/15; INQ000120_013[]
  8. Chair’s Closing Statement, Brook House Inquiry, 7 April 2022[]
  9. In addition, while D1275 did not feel able to provide evidence to the Inquiry (either by way of a witness statement or orally), witness statements from Mr Hamish Arnott (D1275’s solicitor) and Ms Naomi Blackwell (former Advocacy Coordinator at Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group) were read into evidence so that D1275’s experiences at Brook House could also be considered by the Inquiry[]