London’s Scotland Yard says more than 175 foreign criminals have been deported under a new crackdown carried out in a joint operation with UK border officials.
Operation Nexus saw the UK Border Agency (UKBA) working closely with police officers across London. BBC London’s Guy Lynn talks to Det Sgt Tony Maxwell of the Met Police and Immigration Minister Mark Harper.
The Metropolitan Police and the agency have been sharing intelligence since September in a previously unprecedented way.
UKBA officers were posted to 21 custody suites allowing quicker immigration checks to be run.
In three months, 179 foreign offenders have been deported, the UKBA said.
Having UKBA officers at police stations has allowed checks to be run on whether people are wanted or have previous convictions abroad, or are in the UK illegally, said Mark Harper, Minister of State for Immigration at the Home Office.
He said: “Before, people were not identified as foreign nationals until they got far further through the criminal justice system.”
In a report for BBC London news a Polish EU citizen, was in the process of being deported for persistent criminal activity.
Full report – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-20859642
The Home Office said working relationships had been established with police officials from countries where high volumes of offenders come from.
Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley said 28% of those arrested in London, about 1,500 people a week, are foreign nationals.
He said: “We’ve realised there’s a gap there and we are trying to close it.
“We have to be as good at dealing with criminals from Portugal, Poland or Pakistan as we are criminals from Peckham, Portsmouth or Preston.”
Mr Rowley said about a quarter of those involved in “high-risk” crime including organised crime and sex offending, were foreign nationals.
“A small number of those have very dubious immigration status,” he added.
The latest census results for England and Wales showed London has both the largest proportion of residents born outside the UK (37%) and non-UK nationals (24%).
The operation will run until the end of March and could be rolled out to other forces. Source: BBC.
The issue of foreign prisoners has been a political hot potato for years, with thousands of criminals still in the UK after their release from prison.
Former Home Secretary Charles Clarke lost his job because 1000 foreign criminals had been released into the community instead of being deported after their sentence.
Years later convicted criminals and rapists are still able to avoid deportation on article 8 human rights appeals by arguing that they have a right to a family life in the UK.
The high profile appeals cases of Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza dragged on for years.
In cases where people are not given a right of appeal, such as a removal order, they still may be able to apply to the Administrative Court for permission to lodge a Judicial Review to challenge the decision.
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