Friday, April 28, 2006

Police Start To Turn on Charles Clarke

Charles Clarke doesn't have many friends in the Police. It would not surprise me if one or two of the chief constables opposed to his reorganistion plans took part in one or two judicious leaks to the Sundays. This has started already with this breakin story on the Press Association...

The failure to deport foreign prisoners has been blamed by policefor thwarting efforts to crack down on gun and drugs crime, an MP revealed tonight. E-mails sent to Tory Rob Wilson (pictured) by a senior officer complained thathis force got "no support'' from the Immigration Service in removing serious offenders from the country. And the MP joined the calls for Home Secretary Charles Clarke toquit - accusing him of presiding over a service in "meltdown'' and of failing to protect the public. The e-mails were sent by an officer involved with Operation Falcon in Reading - set up in the wake of the brutal murder of Mary-Ann Leneghan. Six men were today each given four life sentences for abducting and murdering the 16-year-old and attempted to kill her 18-year-old friend. Three were serving community sentences at the time of the killingand one was in the country illegally after outstaying permission to stay given when he arrived as a minor. One e-mail said: "Since Op Falcon began after the tragic murder ofMary Ann Leneghan in May 05 we have targeted men of violence who we believe have access to firearms, a huge number of these people have entered the country illegally and fund their lifestyle through criminal activity It continued: "We have a whole raft of people currently sentenced to terms of imprisonment who are illegal immigrants who we have asked the Immigration service to deport after sentence however Immigration will not track the sentence and invariably these people will bereleased and be back in Reading.' I estimate that the majority of drug related crime in Reading is committed by persons who have entered the country illegally. As Police we try to crack down but get no support from the immigration service, a massive immigration crackdown is required in Reading to remove these people to eradicate them from the Criminal fraternity.'' The officer said that the service "needs to work with us and not against us and remove people who are overstayers, entered the country through illegal means or commit crime. "I cannot emphasise enough the massive problem there is in Reading with illegal immigrants and the lack of removal by the immigration service.'' In another e-mail, Mr Wilson was told there was "a general reluctance'' for immigration officers to attend to anything other than failed asylum seekers "as this is the current government performance indicator''. The MP said the e-mails - coupled with the latest revelations from Mr Clarke - were evidence of a huge failure. "What today shows is that the immigration service is is in meltdown,'' he told the Press Association. "What we have now is a situation where evil criminals who should not be in the country, let alone our city, are involved in firearms, class A drugs, human trafficking; all the most sinister crimes you can think of. "And it is all because of appalling leadership from Charles Clarke and the Home Office and an immigration service that is underresourced, under staffed and pointing in the wrong direction. "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the first job of any Home Secretary is to protect the public. "Charles Clarke has abjectly failed in his duty and therefore should go and go as soon as possible.'' Mr Wilson also revealed that an immigration service worker had told him there was an informal ban on dealing with prisoners. The claim came in a letter to the MP that claimed: Immigration Officers have been forbidden from going out on operations or to deal with immigration offenders arrested in police stations unless they are FASes (failed asylum seekers). "Personnel are under instruction not to get involved in assisting the police with offenders unless they are to pick up FASes. That was to meet priority targets of increasing the numbers offailed asylum seekers being deported, the letter said.


Anonymous said...

If ever we needed a lesson that incentives work (something NuLabour have grasped but fail to understand).

Under any normal situation one would imagine that deporting convicted felons on completion of their sentences would be the easiest job on earth: the client is in a secure and known location and one simply has to arrange transport to the nearest airport. In deportation terms "money for old rope".

However, NuLab has chosen to reward the service only in terms of failed assylum seekers deported. Given that these FASes have melted into the community I would imagine that this is not the easiest task on earth. But, being human, immigration officers concentrate on that which will garner them brownie points.

As I say, a classic case study. Sadly it is one that would be used in the "how not to apply incentives" class.


neil craig said...

There have been repeated stories of police arresting people, finding them flagged as due for deportation & the home Office saying they can't send anybody to collect him this week so he has to be released. What a way to run a railrod.