Tens of thousands of foreign criminals could be finding their way into the UK because the police fail to check their criminal histories, a Home Office report has revealed.
“A Common Sense Approach” report by Sunita Mason shows that police only check the backgrounds of one in seven investigations involving EU nationals.
At the same time, around 30,000 foreign offenders pass through the courts without anyone knowing the full extent of their criminal past.
“Outside the EU our own immigration and visa processes might prevent those who present a risk from coming here. Whilst visa applicants are asked whether they have committed criminal offences, this self-declaration is not generally checked and the UK does not ask for certificates of good conduct, unlike a number of other countries,” Ms. Mason said.
She noted that foreign criminals could be working in sensitive positions because they are not required to produce police certificates to government prior to entry or taking up the post. “I am sure that more could be done to conduct checks prior to arrival in the UK,” she said.