Inspectors found a young man – thought to be a teenager – in an immigration removal centre that holds a large number of former offenders, it emerged last week.
His recorded date of birth made him 17 at the time of the inspection last September at the Colnbrook centre at Heathrow Airport, but it was unknown whether this was his exact age, according to a report from the chief inspector of prisons.
He had been detained through the fast-track asylum process, but the report said this was not suitable for age-disputed cases.
However, it praised staff at the centre, which is run by Premier Prison Services, for trying to seek legal advice for the young man.
The report also said Colnbrook’s staff should be congratulated on creating a “generally safe and respectful environment”.
Meanwhile, the government has announced that a removal centre will be built at London Gatwick Airport.