Modification of police national database
23rd September 2011: The UK Border Agency is considering the feasibility to getting stricter and to update the records to include details of those barred from the country.
A new system on live Home Office alerts to UK ports, and to UKBA’s overseas network, is being worked out. It is expected to be introduced in the coming months.
The UKBA will also modify the police national computer database to include details of those banned from the country. This follows a recent incident in which a banned Palestinian activists managed to enter UK.
The UKBA functionaries suggest that a criminal offence be created of an excluded person who is found knowingly travelling to the UK, flouting an exclusion order.
The home secretary Theresa May said in a letter to the Commons home affairs select committee that she was very concerned that in a recent case an individual who was expelled for unacceptable behaviour was able to enter Britain.
May said a significant amount of work was being embarked upon to develop a new prioritisation process for the national border targeting centre. It will signal more prominently live alerts to UK ports and to the agency’s overseas network.
She added that "It will also deliver more effective ways for ensuring that alerts have been received and acted upon."
An inquiry ordered by May into entry of a banned Palestinian activist, Sheikh Raed Salah, atleast six times in UK, was conducted by Chief Inspector Denis O’Connor.
He said it was "insufficiently robust processes" which led to UK Border Agency staff at home and abroad missing six separate chances to intervene overseas, at departure to, and on arrival in, Britain.
The investigation report further says that UKBA must ensure that banned individuals are caught at the earliest opportunity.
The report adds that the passport scanning process at the UK border needs to be examined to make sure that an immigration officer cannot overlook an alert and overseas staff must be available to monitor them seven days a week.
The Chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz, said "If exclusion orders are to be effective we must have assurances that firstly, the notice will be served to the individual excluded and secondly, that those overseas, at departure and in the UK are made aware so that they can intervene if necessary.”