07 July 2010

Travellers without a UK Visa could be using unsecure Welsh ports to enter illegally

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UK immigration control at some Wales’ ports is “limited” and at high risk for immigration and UK Visa offences, says a watchdog.

UK Visa

Welsh ports are at risk of being targeted by non UK Visa holders wanting to enter the country illegally.

The UK Border Agency's independent chief inspector John Vine found Holyhead seaport a high risk area for UK immigration offences and in his report he recommends a comprehensive risk assessment at Anglesey port and other smaller ports in Wales.

The UK Border Agency said they had responded to the report and increased staffing and security at Holyhead to ensure those without a valid UK Visa are not able to enter illegally.

Mr Vine's report is the result of the first comprehensive inspection of the UK Border Agency's regional operations within the UK and Cardiff, Bristol, Holyhead and Plymouth ports were inspected, along with enforcement operations in Bristol and Cardiff.

In response to the report UK Immigration Minister Damian Green said the UK government was committed to creating a dedicated border police force to enhance national security, improve immigration controls and crack down on trafficking of people, weapons and drugs.

The office of the independent chief inspector was created in 2007 to ensure UK immigration and nationality services were working effectively.


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