On 28 June, the Home Office announced plans for a new immigration removal centre to be developed on the site of Campsfield House, a former detention centre six miles north of Oxford. A mixture of refurbished and new-build accommodation, the centre would hold around 400 men and open in late 2023 at the earliest.
As we know from the previous 25 years of Campsfield’s existence, more detention means more years of danger, misery and harm for detainees. Reopening Campsfield would also represent another significant betrayal by a government which committed in 2016 to reducing the number of people in immigration detention.
Immigration detention centres exist all over the UK. Many individuals are locked up in prison-like conditions with no recourse to legal oversight and no indication of how long they will be locked up. The UK remains the only country in Europe without a time limit on detention. Detention is intended as a resource for those awaiting deportation, but its use in the UK includes detention of people later released back into the community.
Despite the government’s commitment to shrink the British detention estate, the Home Office announced on 28th June 2022 that Campsfield House detention centre in Oxfordshire, which closed in 2018, will reopen in late 2023. A mixture of refurbished and new-build accommodation, the centre will be designed for around 400 men: foreign national offenders and so-called ‘immigration offenders’ set to be removed from the UK.
We, residents of Oxfordshire who care about human rights and are proud of Oxford’s status as a City of Sanctuary, are appalled by the news that the government intends to reopen Campsfield House as an immigration removal centre.
Find out more on the Campsfield Coalition website.
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