Colnbrook opened in September 2004. It has a capacity of 408, and like Harmondsworth is a centre for men. It includes a Short Term Holding Centre, where both women and men are held, usually for a few days. There is also a unit for women called ‘Sahara Unit’ with a capacity of twenty women.
People in Colnbrook are locked in their rooms at night, and during the day for roll-calls. There is no freedom of movement around the centre: people are locked on the wing unless they have booked to use the facilities, in which case they are escorted by officers. The last Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons inspection of Colnbrook in 2010 reported significant concerns. Colnbrook is operated by a private security company called Mitie, under contract to the UK Borders Agency.
Visitors must bring with them photo identification (i.e. passport or driving licence) and a utility bill with their name and address which confirms that they live in the UK. Visitors are searched and finger prints, and a photo will be taken. Visitors aren’t allowed to take property into the centre. Any property permitted into the centre will be examined by x-ray and also searched. The visiting times are from 1400 to 20.30 each day.
Detention services now operate a policy which restricts the amount of baggage detainees can have in the centre.
Main telephone and fax
Tel: 020 8607 5200
Fax: 020 8759 7996
West Drayton, Uxbridge to Hatch Lane (Bus U3)
Hounslow West to Longford Village (Bus 81)
The centre does not operate its own bus service.
Nearest train stations
Hatton Cross (Piccadilly line)
Uxbridge (Piccadilly or Metropolitan lines)
West Drayton (Paddington/South Wales main line train)
Trains to West Drayton run regularly from London Paddington and buses 350 and U3 go to the detention centres. The U3 also stops at Heathrow Airport, which is on the Piccadilly line.
From M4 West – Exit at junction 5. Take the 3rd exit at the roundabout onto the A4 sign posted Colnbrook. Head towards London along the A4 for approximately 3 miles. Pass over the motorway and continue straight ahead at the traffic lights. After the lights take the next road on the left (after a row of houses), signposted BT. Colnbrook immigration removal centre is the building on the right hand side.
From M4 East – Exit junction 4A onto M4 spur road towards Heathrow Terminals 1, 2&3. At the junction 4a roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the East Ramp. At Nene Road roundabout take the 1st exit onto Nene Road (signposted Central London, Slough, and Uxbridge). At the traffic lights, turn left onto the A4 (signposted Slough, Staines, Uxbridge, M4, M25). At the Moor Junction traffic signals turn right onto the A3044 (signposted Harmondsworth Moor, Waterside). At the roundabout turn right to return to the road you travelled down and at the lights turn right to bring you back on the A4. After the lights take the next road on the left (after a row of houses), signposted BT, and Colnbrook immigration removal centre is the building on the right hand side.
From M25 – Exit junction 14 onto A3113 (Airport Way) towards Heathrow terminal 4 and cargo. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A3044 towards Colnbrook / Longford. At the next roundabout continue straight ahead until you reach a set of traffic lights. Turn right at the lights and take the next road on the left (after a row of houses), signposted BT.