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Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency publishes report on Family Removals
A report published today by the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency has found significant weaknesses in current family removal procedures and no processes in place to collect, analyse and publish information on families who are subject to removal.
The report "Family Removals: A thematic inspection" focussed on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Agency’s approach to removing families who have no right to remain in the United Kingdom. The report also took into account the Agency’s obligation to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Independent Chief Inspector, John Vine CBE QPM found there was limited evidence that an individual action plan existed for each family which took account of the family’s welfare needs and arrangements for them to return home. While Agency staff and managers demonstrated a clear awareness of the advantages of families returning home voluntarily, there were no consistent standards for promoting the option of voluntary return and no consistency in where, when and by whom the discussions with the families should take place.
Mr Vine said "The removal of families who do not have permission to remain in the United Kingdom is one of the most challenging and sensitive areas of the work undertaken by the UK Border Agency. As a result, I consider it unacceptable that the Agency has no system in place to capture and publish information on families who are subject to removal and those who are detained. Transparency in this area is important. Clear records need to be maintained in each and every family case and information on how the Agency exercises its powers of arrest and detention should be placed routinely in the public domain."
The Independent Chief Inspector’s full report "Family Removals: A thematic inspection" can be viewed at www.independent.gov.uk/icinspector/news
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Notes to Editors
1. The Office of the Independent Chief Inspector was created by the UK Borders Act 2007. The appointment of John Vine CBE, QPM was announced in Parliament by the Home Secretary in April 2008. He took up his post in July 2008.
2. The Chief Inspector is independent of the UK Border Agency and is required to report annually to the Secretary of State.
3. The purpose of inspection of the UK Border Agency is to provide assurance to Ministers, Parliament and the public about the safe, proper and effective delivery of immigration and nationality services.
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