Green: "Conservative government would introduce a specialist Border Police Force"
14th July 2009: Immigration Minister Phil Woolas’ claims of having "one of the strongest borders in the world" apparently don’t find favour with the criminals.
A Home Office report, kept under covers for three years, says the criminals are sure Britain’s border controls are "soft".
With the police "tolerant", the convicted foreign inmates lodged in British jails bragged sneaking illegal immigrants and sex-slave prostitutes into Britain was relatively easy and the risk of detection was low.
The report said the emerging picture was of a market conferred healthy profits with a low risk of detection.
The report "Organised immigration crime – a post-conviction survey" is based on a string of interviews with convicted sex traffickers and human smugglers. The research was carried out in 2006, but was finally released a day ago.
It disclosed the traffickers were lured here by healthy profits involved in cross-border crime.
Traffickers claimed the UK was regarded to have a "liberal" policy towards migrants and asylum seekers, and considerable potential profits from trafficking into the UK outweighed the risks.
In all, the Home Office researchers interviewed 45 prisoners convicted of people smuggling or trafficking offences during 2005. Some did express genuine surprise at the length of sentences handed out by courts, the report added.
Clarifying its stand on the issue, the Home Office said the criminals were being caught, and that was evident from the fact that those interviewed were in prison.
But the delayed release of the findings has led to criticism, with opponent and analysts blaming the authorities concerned for suppressing the disturbing findings.
In fact, Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green questioned the logic behind releasing the report now. “It is a sad fact that people engaged in the dreadful crime of human trafficking do find our borders relatively easy to cross,” he said.
Mr. Green said this was one of the reasons why a Conservative government would introduce a specialist Border Police Force. It would give a clear indication to criminals around the world that they were toughening up Britain’s borders.
Chairman of the think tank Migrationwatch Sir Andrew Green said the report only disclosed how border controls were perceived by those they were meant to deter.
The findings come at a time when Prime Minister Gordon Brown has agreed to give France £15million to help tighten its borders. As of now all kinds of methods are being used by "people smugglers" to bypass checks, including instructing migrants to place plastic bags over their heads to beat carbon dioxide tests. For the purpose of proving an illegal passage, as much as £1,000-a-head is charged.