Memorandum by the Home Office
PHYSICAL CONTROLS AT UK PORTS OF ENTRY
The Home Affairs Committee has announced its intention
to conduct an inquiry into the physical controls which operate
at United Kingdom ports of entry. The information which follows
is provided in response to the invitation of 19 April 2000 to
the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to submit a memorandum
on this subject.
1.1 The Home Office Statement of Purpose
is "To build a safe, just and tolerant society in which the
rights and responsibilities of individuals, families and communities
are properly balanced and the protection and security of the public
are maintained." To enable the Home Office to achieve its
purpose it has seven aims which are the drivers for all planning
and resource decisions in both policy and support directorates.
The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) of the Home
Office owns AIM SIX which is concerned with the "Regulation
of entry to and settlement in the United Kingdom in the interests
of social stability and economic growth, and facilitation of travel
by United Kingdom citizens"
1.2 The Immigration Service comprises two
of the nine directorates of IND (Organisational chart Annex 1).
The key function of the Immigration Service Ports Directorate
(ISPD) is to control the entry of people to the United Kingdom
by operating an immigration control which deters the arrival of
inadmissible passengers, determines the eligibility of people
wishing to enter and denies admission to those who do not qualify.
Embraced within such a function lies a duty to facilitate entry
to the United Kingdom of those travellers who do qualify for admission.
The principal role of the Immigration Service Enforcement Directorate
(ISED) is to identify and remove from the United Kingdom those
in breach of Immigration Rules and to target for prosecution those
seeking to profit from abuse of the law. It also has responsibility
for tactical intelligence matters, forgery and management of the
1.3 Although the two Immigration Service
directorates remain distinct for budgetary and some administrative
and management functions, their business is intrinsically linked
and close cooperation is essential for delivery of common objectives.
The first joint directorate business plan came into effect on
1 April 2000 (Annex 2).
It illustrates the move towards a more integrated approach, with
ISED assuming management responsibility for regions of the United
Kingdom within which there are passenger ports operated by ISPD
staff (IS organisational chart Annex 3*). Effective service delivery
demands cooperation and liaison within the Home Office, and more
particularly between the IND directorates, where a unified approach
is essential, not only in terms of matters such as policy and
finance, but for the successful operation of certain types of
business such as the management of asylum issues.
1.4 ISPD currently has 2,492 staff in post
(breakdown by grade and location 1995-99 provided at Annex 4*).
Although passenger arrivals have continued to rise, ISPD has experienced
a gradual reduction in staff (Annex 5 provides passenger figures
1995-99 and projections to 2004). For the first time for several
years recruitment of new staff has recently been possible and
appointment and training is now underway.
1.5 ISED currently has 565 staff in post
(breakdown by grade and location provided at Annex 6*). Currently,
operational grades of Immigration Officer (IO), Chief Immigration
Officer (CIO) and Inspector (HMI) are recruited and transferred
from ISPD. There are, however, plans for direct recruitment in
the near future.
1.6 Most of the operations of the Immigration
Service are funded from its own delegated cash budget. Budget
allocation for year ending April 2000 was set at £99.65 million
for ISPD and £50.0 million for ISED. (Details of allocations
for previous years are contained within Annex 7 and the ISPD Operating
Plans 1998-2000 at Annex 8*.
1.7 The joint key functions and detailed
objectives of ISPD and ISED are provided in the current business
plan (Annex 2*). The Immigration Service recognises the need to
control immigration by operating an effective and efficient process
which meets prescribed service standards and which inconveniences
as little as possible those people who are entitled or qualified
to enter or remain in the United Kingdom. The operation of an
effective control whilst maintaining service standards is always
likely to constitute a major challenge for the Immigration Service.
1.8 Schedule 2 of the Immigration Act 1971
and the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 Immigration (Leave to
Enter and Remain Order 2000) provide immigration officer powers
in relation to the examination of passengers and the granting
or refusing of leave to enter. HC 395 provides Immigration Rules
by which immigration officers currently operate and includes the
requirement for immigration officers, entry clearance officers
and all staff of the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate
to "carry out their duties without regard to the race, colour
or religion of persons seeking to enter or remain in the United
Kingdom". A professional standards code is also in place
as a guide to conduct and best practice.
1.9 As part of the entry clearance operation
abroad some member of Immigration Service staff undertake periods
of service overseas. Details of the role of Entry Clearance Officers
and Managers are provided in Section 8.
1.10 An analysis of the proportion of passengers
stopped at ports for further examination (IS81 cases) who are
subsequently refused entry or decide to return voluntarily (IS81
proceed cases) was considered a useful starting point by the National
Audit Office (HC204) Entry Into the United Kingdom at Annex 9*
for assessing the effectiveness of initial decisions taken at
the immigration control. A breakdown of such figures for the last
fiscal year on a port by port basis are provided at Annex 10*,
together with national totals for the last three years. Other
indicators used to measure performance are included in the ISPD
Operating Plan and Report 1999-2000 (Annex 8*).
1.11 Target clearance times for passengers
not requiring further examination are given in the ISPD Operating
Plan and Report 1999-2000 (Annex 8*). More efficient and accurate
methods of queue measurement are currently being researched (Objective
7 Business Plan 2000-01 at Annex 2*).
1.12 Since the introduction of the Immigration
Act 1971 the operation of immigration controls at United Kingdom
ports of entry has been based on the requirement to give written
leave to enter to all non-EEA nationals arriving from outside
the Common Travel Area. With effect from 1993 it was no longer
possible to rely upon officers of Customs and Excise to carry
out immigration functions at small ports or outstations. The requirement
to provide immigration officer coverage at such ports, albeit
on a non permanent basis, has had significant resource implications
for the Immigration Service. Responsibility for such operations
is held by staffed ports which provide officers to cover passenger
arrivals when required (Annex 11
provides details of staffed ports, small ports and ports which
undertake both ISPD and ISED functions).
1.13 There has been a significant change
in the nature and volume of passenger traffic since the introduction
of the Immigration Act 1971. In 1998-99 some 84 million passengers
arrived at United Kingdom ports. Non-EEA nationals accounted for
11.5 million of these, the vast majority being genuine and presenting
no threat to the immigration control. It is estimated that passenger
figures will continue to increase by about 5 per cent each year
over the next three years. A Comprehensive Spending Review and
subsequent White Paper, "Fairer, Faster and Firmera
modern approach to Immigration and Asylum", published in
1998, identified the need for greater flexibility in the operation
of the immigration control. It concluded that the 1971 Act placed
too many constraints on the way in which the immigration control
was operated with the result that too much time and resources
were being spent on passengers who presented little or no risk.
This detracted from resources needed to deal with areas of abuse
and to develop a tactical response to illegal immigration and
racketeering. Details of the provisions within the Immigration
and Asylum Act 1999 which allow greater operational flexibility
are included in Annex 12. The Consultation Paper relating to such
provisions can be found at Annex 13*).
1.14 Carriers Liability legislation was
introduced in 1987 and imposed a charge on carriers of £1,000
in respect of each passenger arriving in the United Kingdom with
inadequate documentation (subject to a defence where the carrier
saw proper documentation on embarkation). This was increased to
£2,000 on 1 August 1991 in response to escalating numbers
of inadequately documented passengers. The subsequent escalation
of clandestine entrants has been attributed in part to the effectiveness
of this measure. Background to and details of the Civil Penalty
provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Act, designed to combat
clandestine entry, can be found in Annex 14 and in the relevant
Consultation Paper (Annex 15*). Details of the extension of carrier
liability provisions to the owners or operators of road passenger
vehicles are provided in Section 12 (Annex 37).
1.15 The special circumstances relating
to juxtaposed immigration controls established for the Channel
Tunnel Fixed Link are detailed in Annex 16.
1.16 The White Paper (Annex 17*) raised
the possibility that the evergrowing number of both individuals
and business enterprises benefiting from the growth in international
travel would be asked to bear a greater proportion of the costs
of the immigration control. Background to and details of the measures
relating to the provision of facilities by port operators and
charging for additional services can be found in the relevant
Consultation Paper (Annex 18*).
2.1 Recent years have witnessed a significant
increase in the number of passengers arriving in the UK from outside
the Common Travel Area. The vast majority of the travelling public
is genuine and presents no risk to the immigration control. One
of the principal challenges for the Immigration Service is to
deal with the ever increasing flow of bona fide passenger traffic
at more locations, as swiftly as possible, with proportionately
less resources whilst maintaining an effective control on racketeers,
facilitators and those seeking to undermine the immigration laws.
The new legislation relating to flexibility and passenger information
provides not only the means to achieve this but also the scope
to adopt new ways of working in the future with the development
of new technology (see Annex 12). The scope of the new provisions
also provides for sending immigration officers overseas to address
particular pressure points. Prior agreement to such an arrangement
would, of course, need to be reached with the overseas government
2.2 The number of applications received
for asylum at ports of entry in the United Kingdom increased significantly
in 1999 (Annex 19 provides statistics from 1995 to 1999). Processing
of such applications presents a further challenge to the immigration
control. For those unqualified to enter or remain, asylum applications
may be seen as a way to avoid removal and or prolong stay in the
United Kingdom. As part of the Government's strategy to speed
up the asylum process and quickly identify genuine or unfounded
asylum seekers, the reception centre at Oakington will provide
a fast-track facility to deal quickly with straightforward asylum
claims. Further details of this, and other initiatives to meet
the Government's target of delivering most initial asylum decisions
within two months, and most appeals within a further four months,
from April 2001 can be found in Annex 20. The introduction of
further legislation under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999,
enabling the fingerprinting of non-asylum categories of individuals
in addition to asylum seekers, is designed to act as a deterrent
to multiple applications and fraudulent claims for benefit.
2.3 Illegal immigration, once an opportunist
endeavour on a small scale, is now increasing. Organised criminal
gangs are now in control of the highly profitable illegal migrant
trade to the West. (See Annex 21intelligence).
2.4 Civil Penalty legislation in the Immigration
and Asylum Act 1999 was introduced to stem the escalation in clandestine
entry by vehicle and discourage illegal traffic. The provisions
impose a penalty (currently £2,000) per clandestine entrant
on drivers and other responsible persons found to have such persons
in their vehicles having failed to take adequate precautions to
prevent their entry. The effectiveness of Civil Penalty as a deterrent
cannot be realistically evaluated at this early stage although
early signs are encouraging. It is recognised that Civil Penalty
for Vehicles may have a displacement effect on clandestine entry
and there are plans to extend the penalty to rail, air and sea
transport (see Annex 14). The amendments made by that Act to the
offence of facilitating entry of illegal entrants or asylum applicants
is designed to act as a deterrent in the fight against clandestine
entry (see Annex 22 for details of the IS Facilitation Support
2.5 The fraudulent use of travel documents
has long been recognised by the UK as a serious threat to the
integrity of the immigration control by people who do not qualify
for entry under the Immigration Rules. Despite an effective network
of Airline Liaison Officers, starting in 1993 (see Annex 23),
to reduce growing numbers of inadequately documented arrivals,
and other preventative measures such as new visa regimes, the
challenge to UK border controls from travel document abuse is
severe and persistent (see Annex 21National Forgery Section
(NFS) & Annex 24). New visa regimes are being imposed as a
last resort in the face of extensive and sustained abuse of the
immigration process and when it is considered that there are no
alternative measures available. The success of ALOs in the relatively
containable airport environments has contributed to the resurgence
of clandestine entry in overland routes were large-scale movements
of people are possible.
3.1 The day to day business of the Immigration
Service requires liaison and co-operation with other UK Government
Agencies, those of other countries and also with private sector
bodies such as port authorities and carriers. However, it also
plays a significant part in many national and international fora
concerned with liaison and the exchange of information. The background
to some of this follows, together with examples of joint working
Other government agencies/international agencies
3.2 Building on earlier tripartite arrangements
between the Police, Customs and Excise and the Immigration Service,
the Border Agencies Working Group (BAWG) was established in 1997.
The Security Service and NCIS now also field representatives to
attend meetings, which are held quarterly under the chairmanship
of each agency, on an annually rotating cycle. This year the chair
is with Customs and Excise who succeeded the Police Service on
1 January 2000. The Immigration Service will assume the mantle
on 1 January 2001. The Immigration Service Estates and Telecommunications
Management Unit is represented on the BAWG and takes the lead
in promoting sharing, where possible, of accommodation and facilities
between agencies (Annex 25).
3.3 The Joint Entry Clearance Unit (JECU)
was a result of a joint Home/Foreign Office study of entry clearance
(chaired by the Cabinet Office) which recommended a combined management
structure to achieve greater integration between the various elements
of immigration control. The initiative, agreed by Ministers in
May 1998, reflects the Government's wider commitment to move towards
a more joined up approach. The new arrangements are due to be
in place by 5 June 2000 (JECU background and structure Annex 26).
3.4 The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
incorporated a provision for "statutory gateways" to
be created between the IS and certain other law enforcement agencies.
3.5 Under the auspices of the IND Intelligence
Section (INDIS) and the National Forgery Section (NFS), the Immigration
Service has well established links with other government agencies
such as the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) and
the UK Passport Agency. It also co-operates with Interpol and
Europol (Annexes 28 and 29).
3.6 The Immigration Service at ports of
entry has regular contact with other countries' agencies such
as police, border police or immigration authorities in respect
of persons being deported or removed from, to or through the United
Kingdom. In accordance with Annex 9 to the International Convention
on Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) of 1944 notifications of
deportations and names of escorts should be made to ensure the
safety and security of aircraft, passengers and crew and to ensure
security and safety at transit or destination points.
3.7 Immigration Service staff also participate
in specific liaison visits to other countries to enhance operational
co-operation, promote awareness of other countries practices and
procedures and, on rare occasions, to resolve operational difficulties.
3.8 In order to gather information on the
Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) operating at major
ports of entry to the United States, a visit was made to Miami
International airport in January 2000 by a representative of the
Immigration Service Strategy Team. Information gained from the
presentations and practical demonstrations was fed into the Flexibility
and Passenger Information Project and informed consultation with
carriers, many of whom are signed up to the American system.
3.9 The Immigration Service participates
in an umber of international working groups such as the International
Air Transport Association (IATA) Control Authority Working Group
(CAWG) which has representatives from 17 countries. Representation
is at senior levels within government immigration authorities
and national airlines. The group meets twice a year (with sub
groups meeting more frequently) to discuss a range of issues of
mutual interest. The Immigration Service also participates on
the Facilitation Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organisation
and provides a delegate to a sub group of the European Civil Aviation
3.10 Annex 30 gives details on current procedures
in place to share information on asylum related matters through
CIREA and CAHAR and gives the background to Eurodace which aims
to make the application of the Dublin Convention more effective.
3.11 In 1996, the Citizenship and Immigration
Canada (CIC) agreed to co-operate in areas of immigration control
overseas. This agreement specifically relates to joint working
between the UK Airline Liaison Officer (ALO) and the Canadian
Immigration Control Officer (ICO) networks. Where ALOs and ICOs
are co-located they work closely together, conducting joint training
sessions for airlines and representing both countries' interests
when providing advice and guidance to airline staff on passengers'
travel documents. The agreement is reviewed regularly to ensure
that it reflects the changing requirements of both networks.
Private sector bodies
3.12 Consideration of proposals from the
White Paper and implementation of provisions contained within
the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 have involved, and continue
to involve, consultation with stakeholders, business partners
and other interested parties. Such consultation has included presentations,
regular meetings and the drafting of consultation papers (Annexes
13, 15 and 18).
The Consultation Working Group on Facilities and charging for
additional services is jointly chaired by IND and the DETR. The
aim of the group, which includes 17 industry representatives,
is to reach reasonable agreement where possible on the facilities
to be provided without charge at ports and the definition of the
basic service to be provided.
3.13 The Immigration Service is involved
in joint initiatives with police and HM Customs and Excise in
partnership with British Airports Authority (BAA) to improve security
and to assist in the prevention and detection of crime. In addition
to proposals for the installation of CCTV, Facial Recognition
technology has recently been trialled to examine its role in the
fight against racketeers, traffickers and inadequately documented
arrivals as well as the possibility of improving the flexible
use of the terminal buildings.
3.14 The Immigration Service continues to
work closely with BAA to establish a signage standard and strategy.
Using BAA knowledge of internationally approved signs and their
expertise in wording and positioning, the strategy has been implemented
at other non BAA ports to give the IS a consistent identify and
assist in speeding passenger flows.
3.15 Annex 31 gives details of the Automated
Fingerprinting Identification System, which has involved co-operation
with public and private bodies, both in the UK and abroad.
3.16 Immigration Service staff participate
in training sessions for carriers both in the United Kingdom and
3.17 Annex 32 details accountability and
legal restraints on sharing information from the Warnings Index
(WI) computer system (see Section 4 on technology).
In support of the controls at ports of entry
4.1 The Port Administration System (PAS)
was introduced in 1991 to automate the management of passenger
casework in the Immigration Service. It was designed to record
actions on the progress of a person's application for entry where
further examination was necessary and produces the necessary paperwork,
but it has additionally and increasingly become the main source
of casework statistics for ISPD. It is currently operated at the
15 major casework generating ports, with all other locations relying
on manual systems. The PAS is now essentially a legacy system
and very expensive to amend, but the Immigration Service (IS)
is very much reliant upon it. Upgrading has been on hold while
it seemed that its functionality would be subsumed by the IND
Casework Programme, but continuing delays with this has meant
that urgent action is now required to maintain the PAS's viability.
Consideration is now being given to accessing this application
via POISE, (see section 4.7 below) which will also give benefits
of wide-area connectivity. These enhancements will prolong the
useful life of the PAS while a replacement is found.
4.2 The Warnings Index (WI) computer system
is the primary tool for supporting the immigration entry control
throughout the UK. It was introduced to the UK in 1995, and since
1998 has also been in use by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
(soon to be the Joint Entry Clearance Unit) in supporting the
operation of visa regimes abroad. The system is used by the Channel
Islands and Other Government Departments. It processes protectively
marked data, some of which is supplied by the Other Government
Departments, so data security and access controls are carefully
managed. The system comprises fixed control terminals where the
majority of business is undertaken, back office terminals where
supporting information can be derived, and portable computer terminals.
The majority of these terminals are linked to a central system
at the Warnings Index Control Unit (WICU). The fixed control and
portable computer terminals contain primary information only,
and reference to a back office terminal or WICU is required to
access supporting information. The Joint Entry Clearance Unit
and Channel Islands users only have non-networked portable terminals
and must refer to WICU for supporting information. The system
is in use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. WICU is staffed accordingly
to manage the system and support business users.
4.3 In 1998 embarkation controls were reconfigured.
Immigration staff resources were withdrawn from the routine and
largely nugatory attendance at embarkation controls and CCTV systems
were installed at key departure points in their place. This equipment
was provided by port operators, in part in return for the release
of embarkation control accommodation. Adequate accommodation has
been retained at the embarkation control for any urgent or ad-hoc
need for a physical control. This change released much needed
staff resources for the arrivals control. CCTV equipment has been
useful in providing evidence that certain persons claiming to
be new asylum seekers from overseas had actually already been
in the UK and used the embarkation control with intent to defraud.
4.4 Annex 33 is a detailed description of
the use of technology from the perspective of the National Forgery
Section of the ISED, including the use of technology to detect
clandestine entrants. It also provides input on the use of forgery
detection equipment at ports of entry.
As a management resource at ports of entry
4.5 In 1996 the IS concluded negotiations
with BAA to provide two IT systems for use at Heathrow and Gatwick,
one to predict the staff resources required to meet service standards
at a particular location, and the second to automate duty compilation
for shift-working immigration officers to meet this need. The
first system, IMPACT, can be used as a forward planning tool and
was also designed to predict in real-time what staff would be
required in the hours ahead. In the event the latter development
was not pursued beyond trial stage because of some technical incompatibilities
and because staff shortages meant that there were never enough
officers available to meet any identified shortfall. The planning
version of IMPACT is still in use though other more modern systems
are now available. The IS intends to research the Workforce Analysis
Models use by the American INS. The duty compilation programme,
ROSPLAN, is in use at Heathrow and Gatwick locations but because
it is a derivative of BAA's own system that may be replaced, it
is possible that an alternative will have to be found.
4.6 Annex 34 describes the systems in use
by Airline Liaison Officers serving abroad.
Current and future projects
4.7 Work is underway to extend the Home
Office corporate desktop application (POISE) to 80 per cent of
Immigration service staff to improve the availability of Team
Based Caseworking and Asylum Caseworking database IT. These systems
will improve the ability of the IS to meet its objectives in the
end-to-end processing of asylum seekers and thus to meet the Government's
objectives of a Fairer, Faster, Firmer immigration control.
4.8 The Immigration Service has examined
and continues to examine the possible use of different forms of
technology available for the automated clearance of certain arriving
4.9 The Automated Fingerprint Identification
System detailed in Annex 31 is a further example of the use of
technology to strengthen the controls at ports of entry.
5. CHANGES TO
5.1 Changes to the operation of immigration
controls in terms of supporting technology are detailed in Section
4. The background to the operation of more flexible control arrangements
by virtue of provisions contained within the Immigration and Asylum
1999 is provided in Sections 1 and 2 and Annex 12. Reference to
EU matters is made in Sections 14 and 15.
5.2 Forthcoming Human Rights and Race Relations
legislation will have bearing upon the activities of IND. The
Human Rights Act 1998, which will incorporate the European Convention
on Human Rights into domestic law, is planned to come into force
on 2 October 2000. The new appeals system provided for in Part
IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 is also due to be implemented
on that date. Section 65 of the 1999 Act gives a right of appeal
on human rights grounds following a decision relating to an individual's
entitlement to enter or remain in the United Kingdom. IND are
satisfied that its legislation and procedures are compatible with
the European Convention on Human Rights but assessment of compatibility
is ongoing. A comprehensive training programme is being undertaken
for all staff in IND including Chief Immigration Officers at ports.
The Race Relations (Amendment) Bill (RRAB) currently going through
Parliament, extends the Race Relations Act 1976 to include all
public authorities including IND. The RRA makes it illegal to
discriminate either directly or indirectly on the basis of race,
colour, nationality or ethnic or national origin. Clause 1 19(c)
of the RRAB provides that discrimination on the basis of nationality
or ethnic or national origin will not be unlawful for the purposes
of the RRAB if such acts are required by specific immigration
legislation or authorised by ministers. In addition, the RRAB
is creating a Race Monitor, which will introduce independent oversight
(including annual reports to Parliament) on the operation of the
immigration exemption in the RRAB. (Paragraph 2 of the Immigration
Rules HC395 states: "Immigration Officers, Entry Clearance
Officers and all staff of the Home Office Immigration and Nationality
Department will carry out their duties without regard to the race,
colour or religion of persons seeking to enter or remain in the
6.1 Most immigration control work involves
risk profiling; assessments must be made of the bona fides of
the person being examined and a considered decision taken. The
Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 has provided the power to introduce
greater operational flexibility, to use discretion to deal with
certain types and groups of passengers without close examination.
Hand in hand with this, however, comes a requirement to put procedures
in place to match the resources available to the risks identified
with such a policy. We hope, in the near future, to establish
an intelligence structure and doctrine throughout the country
based on the National Criminal Intelligence Service's Intelligence
Model (NIM). This will formalise and focus intelligence efforts
to ensure that there is an appropriate knowledge base on which
to build prioritised effort. The model ensures high standards,
commonality of approach and proper accountability.
6.2 How the NIM works
Each port or district has a Tasking and Co-ordination
Group (probably headed by an inspector) which oversees an Intelligence
Unit. The T&CG decides both the strategic and tactical operation.
The group tasks the Intelligence Unit, which is staffed according
to need. The strategy is based on a Strategic Assessment of activity
and requirements at the port. At smaller ports we would begin
to move away from systematic attendance based on proper risk assessments.
In other words, maximising our effectiveness whilst minimising
the burden on legitimate travellers. The T&C Group set priorities
in accordance with the organisation's objectives. Local groups
are driven by the priorities identified in their own strategic
assessments which should be a picture of their business, detail
actual events on the ground, examine the nature and extent of
the problem and identify the main trends and threats. Thus advance
passenger information, refusal records, routes, CLA data (including
that from Airline Liaison Officers), surveillance activity, problem
flights, and any operations undertaken would be detailed and analysed
in a strategic assessment peculiar to the individual port. The
local T&C Groups are the first management level overseeing
the intelligence cycle. The second level is a committee of all
heads of T&C Groups to link the organisation's strategy to
local groups. Third level management is provided by the IND Intelligence
Co-ordinating Committee. A scoping study is about to be undertaken
to determine how the NIM structure will apply to port operations,
how to develop common systems for accessing advance passenger
information, how the arrangements will be managed effectively,
what resources will be required and what training is necessary.
The study is due to be completed by 31 July 2000.
6.3 All of the information necessary to
draw a strategic picture is already there. We shall simply co-ordinate
it in a more structured manner. At airports attention is paid
to mounting close surveillance of flights identified as having
carried inadequately documented arrivals in the past. Airline
Liaison Officers are an effective extension to this system. Efforts
to identify those who arrive without documents or from unknown
destinations are extensive, where resources permit, but are not
always successful. Closed circuit television monitoring the "airside"
areas of terminals would undoubtedly assist. At seaports, similar
activity is undertaken to identify vehicles involved in smuggling
people. As airports become more secure, the pressures on seaports,
which are more difficult to manage, will increase.
6.4 Staffing constraints and other pressures
have detracted from local intelligence efforts in the recent past
but there is an acceptance throughout the IS that a greater capability
to assess risks, spot trends and disrupt/displace damaging activity
is necessary. Although databases already exist these will need
to be extended and linked to form a national intelligence database
(which needs to be ECHR and data protection legislation compliant)
that all local intelligence officers have access to. Once these
structures are in place we will be better placed to; determine
which flights might be dealt with flexibly; which areas need work
to disrupt smugglers; which employers locally are using workers
in breach of their conditions and will be in a position to be
proactive rather than just responding once a problem has become
There have always been individuals willing to
give information to IND about those abusing the system and significant
work is put into evaluating and disseminating this information
to enable officers on the control and in-country to question the
subject of the information. Frequently the information will involve
organisations and events that will occur overseas and we are able
to pass this information to authorities abroad with a request
for their assistance. Very often this is provided, and disruption
to an organisation or event is achieved.
6.6 The Immigration Service does not use
paid informants. It receives literally thousands of pieces of
information, some attributable but most from anonymous sources.
Only when the information can be checked against official records
or verified from an independent source is its use considered.
The level of information will vary from an anonymous telephone
call that cannot be verified to a thoroughly investigated intelligence
package provided by an enforcement office that leads to the arrest
and prosecution of a major organiser.
7.1 The White Paper (Annex 17),
identified areas of Immigration Service business which merited
modernisation and change. Some such changes required new or amendment
to existing legislation. Provisions of the Immigration and Asylum
Act 1999, particularly those relating to more flexible control
arrangements and the civil penalty, have instigated programmes
of organisational and operational change within the Immigration
7.2 Certain powers and provisions of the
new legislation have yet to be commenced or to take effect and
operational changes are ongoing. Continuous evaluation is being
carried out to ensure that effective systems, processes and resource
arrangements are in place to allow optimum benefit to be derived
from the new legislation, and to ensure that the cohesive, integrated
strategy advanced in the aforementioned White Paper can be delivered.
8. UK STAFF POSTED
8.1 Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) are
posted abroad to issue visas/entry clearance to intending travellers.
They spend a considerable proportion of their time interviewing
applicants and making decisions in accordance with the Immigration
Rules, drafting explanatory statements and dealing with correspondence.
Some ECOs may have responsibility for the management of locally
employed staff and office administration.
8.2 Entry Clearance Managers (ECMs) are
responsible for overseeing the operation of visa sections in accordance
with FCO Guidance on "Best Practice", ensuring efficient
and effective systems and procedures. They are responsible for
the management of UK based and locally engaged staff. Their work
also involves the supervision of entry clearance work, offering
advice and guidance to staff on individual applications or explanatory
statements, preparing drafts for senior managers at post on individual
cases and dealing with MPs and Ministerial Correspondence. They
will also oversee the visa section's management information systems.
8.3 On 5 June 2000 responsibility for the
management of the Entry Clearance Operation as a whole will move
to the new FCO/Home Office Joint Entry Clearance Unit (Annex 26).
8.4 There are 164 visa issuing posts overseas,
employing in the region of 300 UK based staff, from both the Home
Office and Foreign Office, and 700 locally engaged staff.
8.5 The purpose of entry clearance is to
regulate the entry to, and settlement in, the UK of those who
require, or apply for clearance before travelling. In the last
financial year about 1.5 million visa applications were made,
of which about 90,000 were refused. A list of countries whose
nationals require a UK visa is contained within Annex 35.
8.6 In addition to the above there are currently
20 Airline Liaison Officers posted overseas. The primary role
of the Airline Liaison Officer is to provide training, assistance
and guidance to airlines on whether passengers seeking to travel
to the UK are adequately documented. ALOs specifically help airlines
to decide whether the travel documents held by passengers are
both valid and genuine, and also if passengers require a UK visa.
The decision on whether to carry a passenger remains with the
airline. Annex 23 details the background to the ALO operation
and lists their current locations.
8.7 The Immigration Service also has a liaison
officer in Paris (Annex 28).
8.8 HM Customs and Excise (Strategy Division)
advise that it has no United Kingdom staff serving abroad in support
of United Kingdom border controls.
9.1 There is extensive and detailed evidence
of the involvement of organised crime in clandestine and other
illegal entry to the United Kingdom. Action to frustrate their
activities centres on the IND Intelligence Section (INDIS) and
the Organised Immigration Crime Section (comprising mainly immigration
officers) at NCIS both of which target the major illegal immigration
networks. At present, over 100 operational projects are ongoing,
perhaps 10-12 of these target major criminals. They focus on a
wide range of abuse with clandestine entry and the trafficking
of women for vice having high priorities. Acting jointly with
NCIS, National Crime Squad and the Organised Crime Group at New
Scotland Yard, several successes have been achieved over the past
two years. But many of the principals involved reside outside
the jurisdiction of the British and EU courts. Disruption is,
therefore, a more viable alternative to arrest and prosecution.
9.2 Worldwide, migrant smuggling and trafficking
is now worth between $12 billion (IOM estimate) and $30 billion
(US sources). Migrants pay £1,500 from Romania, £6-9,000
from India to a top rate of £16,000 from China ($30,000 from
China to the United States). The fee varies with the distance
travelled, mode of transport and whether extra services are offered
(for example, guarantees of repeated attempts until entry is secured,
work on arrival). Cost for a well forged passport can be £2,000.
Profits are approaching drug smuggling levels and with lower criminal
penalties if caught, there are few disincentives.
9.3 Some groups specialise in bringing in
illegal migrants/asylum seekers whilst others were or have become
involved in other criminal activity, which can be immigration
related (for example, fraud, prostitution, pickpocketing, aggressive
begging, extortion). They are arranging arrivals on a daily basis,
perhaps two or three people through an airport, sometimes up to
50 at a time in a truck or railway freight car.
9.4 Traditional border controls undoubtedly
have a deterrent effect (if an asylum claim is not the immediate
intention) and organisers have had to become more inventive. The
more barriers we put up, the more inventive they become, perversely
making it more difficult to combat their activities. In August
last year, the Canadian Authorities dealt with five maritime smuggling
incidents in which the Chinese organisers had hollowed out the
inside of barely seaworthy crafts and sailed across the pacific
to discharge over 700 illegal immigrants on the western shore
of Canada. The gangs have infrastructures, communications and
surveillance capabilities far in excess of anything that the law
enforcement agencies in transit and source countries can muster
and the ease with which they operate across international boundaries,
means that the chances of their activities diminishing is negligible.
10.1 The available statistics on clandestine
entry are provided in Annex 36 but, by its very nature, the true
picture cannot be quantified. We are aware of incidents involving
clandestine entry by light aircraft and small boats but the scale
of this activity is not known. It is, however, likely to increase
with tighter controls at major ports.
10.2 Main methods of entry
Unaccompanied rail freight
Mainly Romanian nationals from Italy. But we are
receiving early indications that air freight is also being used
to leave China.
Heavy Goods Vehicles. Some drivers may collude
in this movement and they are the individuals targeted by the
new civil penalty. There are also cases of clandestine entrants
entering a ferry concealed in a lorry, leaving the vehicle once
on board and then disembarking as foot passengers. Although originally
clandestine, they are not included in the statistics as they are
treated as "inadequately documented arrivals". Significant
numbers have also entered by unaccompanied trailers brought to
continental ports, left, tugged onto a United Kingdom-bound ferry,
tugged off and left to await collection at a UK port.
Either concealed within the luggage area of
a coach or actually hidden in a vehicle specially designed to
conceal large numbers of persons. Vehicles have been encountered
especially adapted to enable the seats to be hydraulically raised
so that large numbers of clandestine entrants can hide beneath.
Concealed in a camper van or specially designed
One or two individuals concealed inside a car.
The majority of clandestine entrants seek entry
in accompanied freight, assisted by facilitators or networks.
Those encountered in car boots may be opportunists or persons
closely known to the facilitator.
11. ILLEGAL ENTRY
11.1 Data relating to the number of vehicles
searched whilst looking for illegal entrants and the number reported
by carriers is not currently collected. Illegal entry statistics
are included in Annex 36.
12.1 Details of changes to the Carriers
Liability legislation and statistics available are provided in
Annex 37. The number of Civil Penalty notices issued since April
2000, with details of how the charges are administered are given
in Annex 38.
13. ASYLUM STATISTICS
13.1 Although we are currently unable to
provide data on individuals who were granted asylum or exceptional
leave to remain who originally entered the country illegally,
it is anticipated that with new data collation systems in prospect,
such information may be available in the future. Details of the
number of applications for asylum received at ports of entry in
the UK (from 1995 to 1999) are provided in Annex 19. The number
of individuals granted asylum or exceptional leave to remain in
these years is shown separately.
13.2 Annex 36 provides statistics available
for illegal entrants from 1995 to 1999. It is generally acknowledged
that one of the principal motives behind attempted clandestine
entry is the intention to claim asylum.
14. UNITED KINGDOM
14.1 The Government considers that controls
at the frontiers are central to our approach to controlling immigration
to the United Kingdom. It wishes to continue to exploit the advantages
of our island geography, and considers that border checks at ports
and airports, where traffic is naturally channelled, are the most
effective way to control immigration. Frontier controls also contribute
to the detection of serious crime. The current system of frontier
controls does not distinguish between external and internal frontiers;
it is not practicable, therefore, for us to operate a specific
regime of external frontier controls.
14.2 The United Kingdom has a tradition
of personal liberty within the country, without internal checks
or identify cards. Moving controls away from our borders would
be a major departure from this, and the Government is not convinced
that it would be beneficial in terms of effectiveness, or of community
relations. It has therefore been made clear that we will not take
part in Schengen arrangements for the removal of internal border
controls. We are however seeking participation in all other aspects
of the Schengen arrangements (ie provisions on police, drugs and
judicial co-operation, including the Schengen Information System
14.3 The SIS is a key part of the police
co-operation arrangements under Schengen. It will provide the
UK with a useful tool in combating cross border criminality. It
contains data on, for example, stolen vehicles and documents,
missing and wanted persons, which will be helpful to UK law enforcement
authorities. Entries onto the system of wanted persons will provide
the means for a fast-track "extradition" procedure.
14.4 The United Kingdom does not intend
to have access to SIS data on third country nationals inadmissible
to the Schengen area, since this is linked to the operation of
the Schengen external frontier regime, in which we are not participating.
But we will maintain existing channels of communication with our
European counterparts on immigration issues to ensure that we
have access to any information or intelligence relevant to the
operation of our own controls.
14.5 Illegal immigration is a serious problem
for all EU countries, but it is felt that the United Kingdom is
better placed to tackle it through frontier controls because of
its island geography.
15.1 The continued application of controls
at the internal border is not based on concerns about the controls
exercised by the Schengen States. It is based on the assessment
that it is best for the UK to retain national control over immigration
policy. This Government firmly believes that the United Kingdom's
island status means that we can most effectively check immigration
at our natural frontiers.
15.2 It cannot be assumed that the Schengen
external frontier is a fail-safe protection against illegal immigration
into the UK. A third country national may enter the Schengen area
entirely legally but might overstay; or might simply fail to qualify
for admission to the UK.
15.3 Adequacy of Schengen border control
arrangements is monitored on an on-going basis by Schengen Evaluation
Group, which makes any recommendations for necessary improvements.
UK is a member of this Group.
15.4 As a result of the UK's entry into
the EEC, the UK's border controls were reconfigured to permit
EEA nationals to enter via a separate channel at ports of entry.
Upon accession of new Member States to the European Union, their
nationals are also able to use the EEA channel. Such nationals
do not require leave to enter the United Kingdom, but are admitted
under Article 3 of the EEA Order. Their passports or identity
cards are subject only to a brief check on arrival to confirm
validity and to ensure rightful ownership.
15.5 Discussion on improvements to the EU
external borders (in terms of training, detection of false documents
etc) continues in the Frontiers and False Documents Working Groups.
The United Kingdom plays a full part in the work of the EU Working
Groups dealing with immigration and asylum issues and taking forward
the commitments made at Tampere. This is highlighted by the cross-Pillar
work of the High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration,
which has drawn up Action Plans on a number of major countries
of origin of migrants to the EU and is currently working on the
implementation of measures in the foreign policy and development
areas as well as immigration and asylum.
15.6 EU Member States exchange information
on illegal immigration and asylum issues in groups such as Cirefi
and Cirea, providing the UK with valuable information on migration
trends and the processes and procedures adopted by other countries
in countering those trends (see Annex 30).
16. 1951 UN CONVENTION
AND 1967 PROTOCOL
16.1 The Convention relating to the Status
of Refugees was adopted by the United Nations on 28 July 1951
and entered into force on 21 April 1954. The basic definition
of a refugee is set out in Article 1A(2) of the Convention, as
one who as a result of events occurring before January 1951 and
owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of
race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social
group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality
and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself
of the protection of that country.
16.2 The 1951 Convention was written very
much with the after effects of World War II in mind and its scope
was limited to claims relating to events predating 1 January 1951.
A Protocol drawn up in 1967 reflected the realisation that the
refugee problem was ongoing and not limited to Europe. The Protocol
therefore allowed for the scope of the Convention to be extended
to include events outside of Europe and occurring after 1 January
1951. The United Kingdom acceded to the Protocol on 11 March 1968.
The UK is also a signatory to a number of other international
instruments including the European Convention on Human Rights,
which the Human Rights Act incorporates into UK law.
16.3 As a signatory to both the 1951 Convention
and the 1967 Protocol, the UK has an obligation to consider all
asylum applications made within the UK or at our ports of entry.
Each claim is carefully considered on its individual merits by
specially trained staff to determine whether the applicant has
a well-founded fear of persecution for any of the reasons set
out in the Convention (ie race, religion, nationality, membership
of a particular social group or political opinion). If a person
does not qualify for recognition as a refugee and there are no
humanitarian reasons why they should remain in the UK he/she will
be expected to leave. In the 12 months to December 1999, 7,600
failed asylum seekers were either removed from the UK or departed
voluntarily; a significant increase on previous years.
16.4 Article 1F(c) of the 1951 Convention
allows for the exclusion from its protection of those who have
been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of
the United Nations. In 1996, in a UK Government sponsored move,
the UN reaffirmed that "acts, methods and practices of terrorism
are contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations"
and declared that "knowingly financing, planning and inciting
terrorist acts are also contrary to the purposes and principles
of the United Nations". The UN Declaration thereby provided
a basis for excluding terrorists from the protection of the 1951
Convention. To date it has been relied on to exclude under Article
1F(c) five asylum applicants known to be members of terrorist
organisations. (In all of these cases, however, deportation has
been precluded by Article 3 ECHR.) The use of the Declaration
as a basis for exclusions under Article 1F(c) has not yet been
challenged at appeal.
16.5 Any request for an amendment to the
1951 Convention would need to be put to the UN Secretary-General.
It would then fall to the General Assembly, not just the states
party to the Convention, to recommend what action, if any, would
need to be taken. Any revision of the 1951 Convention itself would
be a huge and time-consuming task in which the many different
perspectives of signatories and potential signatories would come
into play. The Government does not believe that embarking on such
a process at this stage would be the most effective way to modernise
the approach to protection and asylum issues internationally.
It is clear however that by itself the Convention does not deal
with all the problems that arise today in respect of the movements
of displaced persons or the use and abuse of asylum procedures.
On the one hand, the 1951 Convention is now only one of a range
of international instruments under which protection may be sought,
including for example the Convention against Torture and the European
Convention on Human Rights. Within this overall body of international
law some provisions overlap, others do not. On the other hand,
there has been growing abuse of the institution of asylum by unfounded
applicants and by the traffickers in human beings who exploit
them. There is therefore a need for concerted international action
to tackle these problems and deal with those matters which are
not covered by the various conventions themselves.
16.6 The Government will therefore continue
to work closely with other European partners, with other like-minded
states and with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees,
to develop an approach towards the protection of refugees and
the effective operation of asylum procedures that is in line with
modern requirements. In the European Union, the conclusions of
the Tampere Council provide an agenda for action to bring the
procedures in member states closer together, providing a clearer
common standard for deciding issues of protection and helping
to minimise the gaps and differences that encourage opportunistic
claims to asylum by those who are not in genuine need of it. More
generally, the Government is in discussion with a range of like-minded
countries about the common problems faced by the institution of
asylum, with a view to developing a common dialogue with the UNHCR
and other international bodies with relevant responsibilities
about the need for further initiatives to ensure that protection
is available to thosebut only thosewho meet the
internationally agreed criteria.
16.7 The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
introduces fundamental changes to the asylum system and includes
measures to discourage unfounded applications, while providing
protection for those in genuine need. The changes include new
measures providing support principally in kind, rather than cash;
the dispersal of asylum seekers around the UK to relieve the current
pressure on the South East; a streamlined appeals system to reduce
the scope for delay by applicants pursuing multiple avenues of
appeal; a new civil penalty for carrying clandestine entrants;
and improving the quality of advice available to applicants by
regulating immigration advisers.
THE 1951 CONVENTIONAL/OVERLAP
16.8 The cases of Adan, Aitseguer and Subaskaran
(CA 23 July 1999) concern differing interpretations of the 1951
Convention among EU Member States. Our application for leave to
appeal to the House of Lords in Adan and Aitseguer was granted
in December. Subaskaran is no longer part of the proceedings because
all the relevant issues are covered by the cases of Ms Adan (a
Somali who travelled to the UK via Germany) and Mr Aitseguer (an
Algerian who arrived via France). The judgment relates to the
safety of France and Germany as destinations for third country
removals under the Dublin Convention where the asylum claim involves
persecution by non-State agents. The judgment focused on the particular
question of whether the interpretation of the 1951 Convention
adopted in France and Germany were , in the view of the English
courts, correct in law.
16.9 France and Germany limit the grant
of refugee status to cases where the persecution alleged can be
attributed to the State (the "accountability theory").
If a claim is based on persecution by non-State agents it must
be shown to be tolerated or encouraged by the State, or at least
that the State is unwilling to offer protection against it. So,
refugee status cannot be granted where there is no effective State
authority, as in a situation of civil war. The UK and others,
including UNHCR, recognise persecution by non-State agents where
the State is unwilling or unable to provide protection, whether
or not competent State authorities exist (the "protection
theory"). But, in France and Germany, as in the United Kingdom,
other forms of protection are also available. In March the European
Court of Human Rights declared the case of Iyadurai to be inadmissible.
The Court was satisfied that alternative forms of protection available
under German law meant that on his return there under the Dublin
Convention, Germany would fulfil its obligations towards Iyadurai
under Article 2, 3 and 8 of the ECHR.
16.10 Protracted disputes about other Member
States' approaches to the Refugee Convention are undermining the
Dublin Convention and leaving asylum procedures open to abuse.
Section 11 of the Immigration and Asylum Act provides that other
EU Member States are safe third countries of asylum whose authorities
and independent courts can be trusted to deal appropriately with
asylum applicants who are their responsibility under international
law. This is due to come into force on 2 October.
A progress update on the recommendations within
the National Audit Office Report, "Entry into the United
Kingdom" HC 204 (Annex 9),
has been commissioned within the Immigration Service for the purposes
of this inquiry, and a report will ensue in due course.
A brief summary of the physical controls exercised
at ports in the United Kingdom by the police, provided by the
Terrorism and Protection Unit of the Home Office Organised Crime
Directorate, is given at Annex 39.
22 May 2000
|1.||IND Organisational Chart.
|2.||Joint Business Plan 2000-2001.*
|3.||IS Organisational Chart.*
|4.||ISPD Staffing Figures 1996-2000.*
|5.||Passenger Figures 1995-99 and future projections.
|6.||ISED staffing figures.*
|7.||Budget allocations for recent years.
|8.||ISPD Operating Plans 1998-2000.*
|9.||NAO Report 1995 HC204.*
|10.||Casework Figures by port 1999-2000 and national totals 1998-2000.*
|11.||Details of staffed, small and hybrid ports.*
|12.||Background to Flexible Control Arrangements.
|13.||Flexibility and Passenger Information Consultation Paper.*
|14.||Background to the Civil Penalty Provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
|15.||Civil Penalty Codes of Practice Consultation Paper.*
|16.||Channel Tunnel Fixed Link.
|17.||White Paper "Fairer, Faster and Firmer: A Modern Approach to Immigration and Asylum"*
|18.||Provision of facilities at ports and charging for additional services Consultation Paper.*
|19.||Asylum Applications 1995-99.
|20.||Current Asylum Initiatives.
|21.||Challenges to UK Border Controls (Intelligence and Forgery).
|22.||Facilitation Support Unit.
|23.||Airline Liaison Officer Network.
|24.||Forgery Detection Statistics.
|25.||Accommodation and Facilities.
|26.||The Joint Entry Clearance Unit.
|30.||Liaison with other countries-migration and asylum.
|31.||Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
|33.||National Forgery Sectiontechnology.
|34.||Technology Overseas To Assist ALOs.
|36.||Notices of Illegal Entry.
|37.||Carriers Liability Statistics.
|38.||Civil Penalty Statistics.
|39.||Summary of Physical Controls Exercised by the Police (plus Annex).
* Not printed.
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