The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) on Tuesday opened a new detention facility just outside of Tallinn in Soodevahe, Rae Municipality, that will provide new facilities for the detention centre for illegal migrants currently situated in Harku as well as Tallinn Detention Centre.
The new detention centre will fill two roles, combining the former detention centre in Rahumäe and Harju Detention Centre, said Valdo Põder, head of the Law Enforcement Unit at the North Prefecture of the PPA.
"Although we did combine two structural units, those held in detention with the court's permission on various grounds do not come into contact with each other and are kept fully separate," he explained. "There will be a single team working at the detention centre, but the premises and rules valid in the building's various wings will be very different."
Outgoing Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE) said that although the opening of the new centre will reduce costs for the PPA, it also marks first and foremost a big step forward for centre employees in terms of work conditions and safety.
According to detention centre director Vambo Oolberg, the biggest and most tangible change in relation to the new facility concerns living conditions there.
"The rooms of asylum-seekers and persons to be expelled and the cells of detainees and persons under arrest have better lighting, noise isolation and ventilation compared to the previous buildings and are consistent with current requirements," he said. "While detainees previously had the opportunity to take a hot shower just once per week, now they can do so every day, as the shower is situated in their cell."
Editor: Aili Vahtla