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Preventing and detecting immigration and customs offences: A thematic inspection of how the UK Border Agency receives and uses intelligence

May 16, 2011 Comments off

Preventing and detecting immigration and customs offences: A thematic inspection of how the UK Border Agency receives and uses intelligence (PDF)
Source: Independent Chief Inspector of the U.K. Border Agency

The UK Border Agency must use intelligence effectively if it is to make sure the law is upheld and its resources are deployed effectively and efficiently.

A significant amount of work has been done to try to understand the role of intelligence and the Agency recognises it is only part of the way through a programme of change. These changes provide a basis from which the Agency can develop.

However, there is a real need for the Agency to focus more rigorously on the actual outcome of intelligence. I do not think it is acceptable, for example, that the Agency fails to routinely capture whether allegations received from members of the public have been acted on or how many have resulted in the prevention or detection of offences and protecting victims.

Furthermore, there is insufficient understanding across the Agency of the role that intelligence should play and whether or not it is the driving force for meeting objectives. The Agency should have a clearer idea of how the use of intelligence contributes to preventing and detecting immigration and customs offences.

Secondly, the Agency needs to ensure that, in seeking authorisations to discriminate on grounds of nationality, its intelligence assessment takes account of poor decision-making. If not, there is a risk that particular nationalities will be subjected to greater examination with insufficient justification.

In addition, I expect to see greater assurance that the methods used by frontline staff at ports of entry to subject particular people or goods to further examination are not discriminatory. The Agency needs to analyse the actual outcome of cases to assess the most effective methods and to ensure that it is not targeting people unlawfully.

See also: System ‘getting better’ says immigration minister (Home Office)

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