Green defends UKBA functioning in Scotland, Northern Ireland

Says 1,500 immigration offenders removed, 100kg drugs stopped from reaching streets
23rd May 2011: In past one year alone, UK Border Agency officers in Scotland and Northern Ireland have detected and removed more than 1,500 immigration offenders.
Minister for Immigration Damian Green claims they have also stopped hundreds of people from illegally entering the UK and have prevented more than 100kg of drugs from reaching the streets.

He was reacting to Chief Inspector’s reports on Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It comes soon after the UKBA was condemned for its operations in Scotland, Northern Ireland.

John Vine looked at the Scottish and Irish aspects of the common travel area, an arrangement which allows people with permission to enter Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands and move freely in this zone with minimum travel documents.

He also looked at operations at the border, and representation by UK Border Agency officials at appeal hearings.

Expressing concern over the agency’s functioning at major ports and airports,
Independent inspector John Vine asserted the agency had not evaluated the danger to small ports and airports.

He added the agency required improving the way it identified and addressed threats to the UK border in Scotland and Northern Ireland and has even suggested several measures to this effect.

In his review, Vine said there had been no confiscation from freight containers for more than 14 months. He also added there had been no evaluation of the threat posed at small air and sea ports for three years.
Green said: ‘This government is committed to radically reforming the immigration system and improving border security.

‘It’s clear that improvements are already underway with the agency working closer than ever with the police and Serious Organised Crime Agency, and frontline officers improving their use of intelligence at the border and within the Common Travel Area.

Detention period at Dover immigration centre increases

Less unaccompanied asylum-seeking children removed from UK