Refugees deported from Britain are at risk of ill-treatment and abuse by immigration officers and security guards, a damning report into the system for removing immigrants and failed asylum seekers has found.And who has produced this highly critical report?
In most cases the use of force during the deportation process had the opposite effect and led to the removal attempt being abandoned.
Ms Owers’ report also found “worrying gaps and weaknesses” in the system for complaints made by asylum seekers and in the monitoring of the removal process.Anne Owers is the former professional bleeding heart (recently made a Dame, too!) appointed to be the head of HM Inspector of Prisons who doesn’t seem to realise that she’s a gamekeeper now, not a poacher…
But of greatest concern was the inconsistent use of force by immigration officers as well as failures to provide medical help.
In one case identified by the inspectors, intimidating behaviour towards detainees by overseas escort staff appeared to have led to an immigrant's last-minute refusal to comply with the removal. In another incident a detainee who refused to board a flight only found out that he had been granted a court reprieve on his return to the holding area.Note that ‘appeared to have led’. In truth, unless Owers is employing psychics, she has no way of knowing that the detainee wouldn’t have kicked off regardless.
And you’d think communication mix-ups didn’t happen in any large organisation. But no, here Anne’s mob is determined to imply that it was an attempt to hustle the detainee out of the country, as though he wouldn’t be free to get right back on a UK bound plane again.
And in an illustration of the chaotic nature of the refugee removal system, two members of an escort team were arrested and detained for two days in Mozambique after the African state refused to recognise the validity of the returning refugee’s documentation. The report also said that Iraq was one of the countries most likely to refuse entry to a asylum seeker being returned by Britain.Because it’s perfectly obvious that the bureaucratic failings of an African state and a fledgling democracy still battling with a war-torn infrastructure are the fault of our removal system. I mean, can’t everyone see it?
Ms Owers said: “It [the investigation] also found variable practice, with no evidence that the good and thoughtful approach of some staff was mirrored in clear and consistent standards of treatment, support and communication. This heightened the risk of ill-treatment or abuse, and was also likely to lead to failed removals.”In other words, there were some few bleeding hearts on the staff who identified and sympathised with the detainees, but not enough…
Ms Owers added: “We also found examples of cases where reports of incidents that we had observed or noted should have been raised, but had not been. A number of detainees had medical problems, and medical assistance was not always at hand. In other cases, removals were cancelled because of the absence of escort staff, or detainees were returned from countries that refused to accept them.”Guess what, Owers? Medical assistance is not always on hand for our own citizens either. And they’ve paid for it to be!
Pardon me if I don’t shed a tear for someone who has no right to be here and is held in a detention centre because he or she has refused to accept that decision.
Ms Owers said: “Most escorts behaved in an appropriate way with distressed detainees, and there were several examples of firm but sensitive and discreet behaviour. However, several staff unnecessarily drew attention to removals or raised tension levels.”The report doesn’t say how many. ‘Several’ might be as few as two.
But no matter what the real story, this report is promptly seized on by the legions of other progressives out there.
Emma Ginn, co-ordinator of the immigration charity Medical Justice, claimed that the report corroborated many of its own findings published last year which included nearly 300 cases of alleged assault during detention and removal.Not sure how one highly subjective report corroborates anything, but still…
Diane Abbott MP added: “I am highly concerned that the Home Office has shown little motivation in addressing these issues which have been raised with them time and time again. We were told almost a year ago that there would be an investigation into the abuse of immigration detainees during escort and removal. I dearly hope that this is not a case of the Home Office sweeping scandal under the carpet in the hope that it will go away.”They aren’t raising it because they are already going to lose the next election, and they don’t want the Tories and Lib Dems….well, maybe not the Lib Dems!...making political hay with ‘Home Office goes easy on illegal immigrantion again’ headlines.
I’d have thought that’d be obvious.
David Wood, director of the Criminality and Detention Group for the UK Border Agency said: “HM Chief Inspector of Prisons found overwhelmingly that our escort staff carry out removals with sensitivity and discretion… Many detainees refuse to leave the UK voluntarily, even when the courts say they must. In some cases individuals become violent toward themselves, the public or our staff when it is time to go home. Detainee escorts have a very difficult job to do in carrying out what the public expects of the UK Border Agency in enforcing our immigration laws. The report of HM Chief Inspector will be carefully considered.”And then, hopefully, put in the ‘round file’.
Where it belongs…