Two tales of one incident at Colnbrook Removal Centre



"trays, plates of food , the tray rack, cutlery, and almost everything that wasn't nailed down was used on the officers"

There was an incident at Colnbrook IRC on Sunday afternoon, NCADC contacted the Home Office for comment and also a detainee in Colnbrook:

The Home Office Press Office said:

"We can confirm that an incident of disruptive behaviour occurred at Colnbrook at lunchtime on Sunday. Calm was quickly restored and no incidents have occurred since.

During the incident, approved control techniques were used to move one detainee to temporary confinement. A further 9 detainees were also removed from association or placed in temporary confinement following the incident.

As a result of the incident, police are investigating an assault on a detention custody officer. It would not be appropriate to comment further while this investigation is ongoing.

We treat our duty of care towards detainees with the utmost seriousness."

End of Home Office statement:


A Detainee who was present and witnessed the incident said:

"It was lunchtime in Colnbrook,1.00pm Sunday afternoon the 7th May, at the C-Wing, at the cafeteria point.

An Algerian inmate got into an argument with the manager on duty, over the amount of food he was entitled to, and the manager resulted to some physical contact to make his point. the inmate resented this seemingly bullying attitude of the manager and refused to pay any further attention to the manager. Instead he stopped any further argument with the manager and insisted d manager stop shoving him. d manager tried to force him to leave the cafe counter, but he insisted he would not leave without his lunch, at dis d manager called 4 additional officers, on his communication unit.

The inmate, collected his lunch and walked into his room, without any further comment. When the officers came to take him to solitary confinement (the block), he left his lunch, got up without a word and with no argument followed the manager and 4 other officers out of the connecting door in the wing. When they had taken him out and locked d door, the manager and officers started to beat him.

One of the fellow Algerian inmates got so irate at this treatment because d inmate had not resisted at all, started banging on the door in anger and frustration at seeing d beating his friend was receiving. D other 2 Algerians joined in and the remaining officers called in some more reinforcements, and six of the Duty Custody Officers (DCOs) descended heavily on d single Algerian still banging on the door, and there and then they forced his hands behind his back, and in the process put him in a choke hold with an arm around his neck. When they brought him to the ground, most inmates who were looking on, heard his arm break, and his resultant SCREAM was what really incited all other participants in the fracas.

The injustice of 6 men beating, choking, one man and an additional 5 DCOs, fighting the remaining 2 Algerians, was too much for the other detainees. Trays, plates of food, the tray rack, cutlery, and almost everything that wasn't nailed down was used on the officers, and they managed to drag the injured Algerian thru d connecting door,a nd sealed off the cafeteria point, and the whole wing was sealed off with only d female officers left behind, until the inmates had been calmed down by the other inmates.

90% of us that had not collected our lunch were starved till dinner time as we never got any other meal. (maybe as a punishment). at 11p.m, (after the final lockdown at 9.45p.m,) over a dozen inmates who had taken part in the riot were arrested for incitement, and other drummed up charges. These arrests were carried out, with an officer recording the process with a camcorder (of what purpose is unknown)."

Which version do you prefer? Answers on postcards please to:

John Reid
Secretary of State for the Home Office
3rd Floor
Peel Building
2 Marsham Street




May 2006

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