Monday, 4 May 2009

Immigration Detainees

T'was but a year ago that I was a sergeant on a very successful pro-active unit in the District of Dystopia - the antithesis of the Utopian City Dream. Whereas the Utopian City Council would enthusiastically refer to this district as 'being rich in diversity', we would call it the 'The Earth's Anus', because all of the sh*t from the rest of the world would invariably pass through it. As a punishment for having what was deemed to be a plumb job in the eyes of the Duties Office, I would often be posted in the custody suite at Dystopia in order to assist the response teams. I had no problem with performing the role of Custody Sergeant whatsoever, in fact, I enjoyed it . But I digress. In amongst dealing with the genuinely hardened criminals that came before me, the ones that caused me the most angst were those that were brought in for immigration offences.

There are certain absolutes when dealing with immigration offenders, which are as follows:

1. The 6 foot 4 inch man standing before you, with a fully grown beard and muscles like bricks, when asked his age would reply 'I have 16 years of old, Mister Sir'. In the absence of the detainee having his passport with him, which he absolutely won't have and wouldn't know the location of (see point 2 below), the Immigration Services would have no option but to take his word for it, and arrange for social services to place him in care whilst they figure out what to do with him. Whilst the Immigration Services were figuring out what to do with him, the offender will have already figured out that his best bet is to disappear off the face of the earth (having now passed through its anus).

2. Should the Immigration Services be bothered to come and interview the detainee, which they usually don't (see point 3 below), they will come to you and inform you that they intend to search the detainee's home address so as to locate his passport. This is only applicable if the detainee has been arrested whilst walking the streets of Dystopia, having had the misfortune to be stopped and questioned by an inquisitive police officer. Either the address given by the detainee won't exist, or if it does, will have been answered by respectable Mr and Mrs Suburbia who have no idea who the detainee is. The outcome of this? The detainee can't be sent back to whatever country he has come from because the Immigration Services in other countries won't accept him without a passport. He'll be released with bail conditions to sign on at the local Immigration Office once a week whilst they figure out what to do with him, but he won't sign on even once, and will disappear.

3. The detainee will have been with you for 6 hours, and all attempts to convince the local Immigration Officer to attend will ultimately be met with this response, "Can you bail him to come to the office this Friday?" You'll inform the Immigration Officer that the detainee has been arrested after being caught holding onto the side of a lorry that travelled from Asia to Europe, that he has no address, and will undoubtedly vanish, only to be given the reply, "Well, I've no one to send. All of my officers are busy," (for 'busy' read 'Pete is on level 9 of Tetris and I've bet him £10 he can't beat my high score.')

4. If, by some fluke, the detainee is visited by an Immigration Officer and does have his deportation papers served upon him, you know that you and successive Custody Sergeants will spend the next 4 days repeatedly telephoning the Immigration Services to find out when they will collect the detainee. You'll be told each day that there are currently no spaces in any of the holding centres, before finally being told that you can give the detainee bail with conditions that he report to the local Immigration Office once a week. So I bail him, and wonder when he'll come to police notice for committing a criminal offence. The following article from The Times is just one of the many tragic examples of when they do...

However, the most common characteristics of those detainees that are served with deportation papers and are actually sent back to their country of origin is the following: they would speak impeccable English; they would have lived in the UK for at least 9 years; they would have conformed with their reporting conditions, signing on at the local Immigration Office twice a week; they would have had respectable jobs, paying taxes without any recourse to public funds; they would have been honest about their age; and they would have handed over their passports; all in the mistaken belief that commonsense would prevail on the part of the Immigration Service and their value to the UK would be acknowledged. However, the Immigration Service, as with the CPS and Police, has targets to meet so that the Home Office can reel off annual statistics to show how efficient its agencies are under New Labour's tutelage.

It's no surprise that the head of these agencies is one and the same person, Ms Jacqui Smith, who evidently has a fixation with statistics. I can picture the conversation with her husband over dinner, "How are the statistics today, Jacqui?" "Great, the police have achieved 8 sanctioned detections today for people urinating in the street but have called them Public Order offences to make them sound like they were more serious. The CPS have successfully prosecuted 10 people for being drunk and disorderly, and have taken no further action over 42 Billy Burglars who may have got off with it at court. I've cut the prison population by 12% after releasing the remaining 1,204 Billy Burglars early, and I've sent 4% more of immigration offenders home who were stupid enough to be honest about their status in the UK. Oh, and I've fleeced the tax payer of 24% more through claiming £116,000 on that second home we don't even live in." "Wow, I can see you're getting horny. I've ordered a couple of sexy videos as a treat, all on the expense of the taxpayer of course." Oh my, you naughty boy, what are they?" "Old Bill's My Bitch Ho and Anally Screwing the Public."

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1 comment:

  1. ha ha ha so true, as I can only testify to today. Can't remember the last time I booked a first-time immigration prisoner in who was over 16....... full beards and wizened features notwithstanding