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U.K. Border agency to be stripped of enforcement powers

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U.K. Border agency to be stripped of enforcement powers

Post  Panda on Tue 21 Feb - 14:45

UK Border Agency is to be stripped of its enforcement powers after an
investigation uncovered a catalogue of failures that allowed hundreds of
thousands of people into the country without adequate checks.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, ordered that the UK Border Force be
separated from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and established as a separate
force with a senior police officer put in charge. Its enforcement role
includes refusing entry to passengers without suitable entry papers,
catching smugglers, identifying fugitives and arresting illegal
She announced the split as she told MPs that the Vine
report into border security checks had identified repeated failings.
They included the failure to carry out checks designed to identify
terrorists trying to enter the UK.
Checks, including Warnings
Index checks on 500,000 people travelling into the UK on Eurostar
services, were often suspended without ministerial approval, the report
by John Vine, the independent chief inspector of the UKBA, found.
of the report was devoted to highlighting the failings of the UKBA but
ministers also came under fire for a "lack of clarity" in their dealings
with staff at the agency and for using language that included
references to "summer pressures" and "further measures" that were open
to interpretation.
Mr Vine launched his investigation last year
after it emerged that border checks were being relaxed at ports and
airports without ministerial approval.
He found security checks
had been suspended regularly and applied inconsistently since at least
2007 as border staff attempted to keep passengers flowing through ports
without long delays. Ms May told the Commons: "The Vine report reveals a
Border Force that suspended important checks without permission; that
spent millions on new technologies but chose not to use them; that was
led by managers who did not communicate with their staff; and that sent
reports to ministers that were inaccurate, unbalanced and excluded key
Mrs May added that, despite many checks being
missed, the failures did not mean people being waved through customs
with no checks.
Brodie Clark, the head of the UK border force,
quit in November amid the row over lax border security soon after being
suspended. He had admitted using guidance designed for health and safety
emergencies to suspend fingerprint checks at the UK's ports, actions
which had no ministerial authorisation, but accused Mrs May of publicly
blaming him for "political convenience".
Warning Index checks, in which passengers are checked against a list of
undesirables, were suspended 354 times, affecting 500,000 people
arriving on the Eurostar.
* Chip readers for biometric checks were deactivated 14,812 times from January to June 2011.
* Secure ID checks, fingerprints scans for those requiring visas, were suspended 482 times between June 2010 and November 2011.
Operation Savant, a scheme at Heathrow which made entry easier for
students from low-risk countries, was created without the knowledge of
senior staff or ministers.

  • Peter Snelson

    Doesnt happen in Thailand. They force you to leave the country
    every 3 months with a complex visa system then if you overstay its 10
    quid a day fine and if you go over a couple of months you go straight
    to prison.

    No one is allowed to do menial jobs, if you are a
    fallang and you are not allowed to own anything unless you have a
    majority shareholder Thai. If you have a company same rule plus you HAVE
    to employ 4 Thais and pay their NI.

    Oh and tax here is 10%.

    UK wake up!!!its too late anyway.

  • john fitzgerald

    The difference is the Thais have a King who cares, and is up to the job.

  • robhardy

    So we avoided 500,000 unnecessary intrusive expensive and
    inconvenient official interferences into our lives HOORAY. Well done
    those civil servants, thank you. So why isn't the Independent cheering
    with me?

  • Porcinus

    The difference between getting across the UK Border and crossing
    borders into other EU countries is that once in the UK you cannot be
    deported (even if you are a known terrorist) you are safe and you will
    be looked after. So we now have at least an additional 500 000 people in
    the country, plus the millions who entered under the last Government
    and it appears that there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it.

  • Peter Snelson

    Lets hope their pensions and bonuses are ok. Dont you just love the public sector.

  • Graculus

    Classic "Yes Minister" ! In the event of a serious problem,
    reorganise the Civil Service department concerned. That way, no-one is
    held to be accountable for the disaster while others can be given credit
    for tackling, but not resolving, the issues.

  • john fitzgerald

    The English need a government that promotes the interests of English people.
    The ruling class hate the English.
    We need an English government, secession from London, and the Enclosure Acts (land thefts) reversed.

  • Teresa Harris


  • nakedtalker

    But they never fail to let a Briton in, without looking up and
    down, from their head to their toe with the greatest suspicious eyes.
    How do they manage to let in all those non-Brit/Eu just like that?!

  • John Leach

    500,000 people came into Britain without border checks... BIG
    Deal. Millions of people travel across borders on mainland Europe
    without border checks. in view of the fact that these 500,000 "lapses"
    caused no problems, is it not time to reconsider the idea that Britain
    needs barbed wire, steely-eyed border guards and is as difficult to get
    into as the old Soviet Republics?

  • Peter Snelson

    France are now sending them back home and Italy are trying to unload. The ones that get through they send to us.

  • scotsgal

    I wonder how many the politicians let through the doors when
    they took over when there was that strike. But you can bet that it was
    more than they will ever let on. You cant make cuts and expect the same
    performance, its time that the government stopped taking the failings
    of UK and fat cats out of the hides of the working classes.

  • Ian Munford

    This is why you cant keep cutting costs at these types
    organisations. The volume of applications and checks that had to be
    processed at the Border Agency were far to high for the amount of people
    that were working there. I remeber there being a hiring freeze as far
    back as 2009. Im pro spending cuts but government spending cuts caused

  • Raphael Mour

    "May admits 500,000 entered UK without full security checks"

    well, happened to me three times last year, as I make the journey
    between France and the UK quite regularly and share my time between the
    two countries.
    And it was SOOO nice, not wasting time with border checks and all that crap.
    I'm not on benefits, got my own money, don't even use the NHS, I always
    get looked after in France when I have a health problem.

    Now we can expect full body scan, semen samples and rectal probes straight out of the ferry!

    We need a new motto for England:
    Welcome to England - Please bend over.

    Asylum seekers benefits and your money doesnt figure in your reasoning. Keep paying that tax boy.

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