31 October 2011

UK immigration minister ups the ante on border screening

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The UK Government will extend the powers of border police in screening passengers before travel, following the release of positive crime prevention figures.

UK visa

The UK Government will extend the powers of border police in screening passengers before travel.

UK immigration figures released this week suggest that as many as 10,000 criminals have been detained at the UK border since the introduction of the e-Borders screening system in 2005.

Responding to the numbers, Immigration Minister Damian Green praised the work of border authrorities and pledged a further commitment to the screening program.

"By checking passenger and crew information before travel, law enforcement agencies can apprehend those trying to evade justice," Mr Green said.

"From 2013 the new dedicated Border Policing Command, part of the National Crime Agency, will further strengthen security at the border, providing leadership and coordination based on a single national threat assessment and strategy."

Furthermore, the Government will extend the number of routes and carriers covered by e-Borders.

The announcement has been welcomed by law enforcement authorities, who have also been publicly touting the benefits of the screening system.

"Police have been able to identify those wanted for offences before they leave or when they return to the UK, bringing offenders to justice and supporting counter-terrorist and serious crime investigations," said Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman John Donlon.

"Inevitably as more routes are covered the number of arrests will grow," he added.

Over the year to September 2011, more than 125 million passengers' details were screened resulting in 2,700 arrests, including cases of murder, rape and drug offences.

UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people apply for a UK visa.

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