Home Office spot-checks: We want to hear from you

Posted by Rachel Robinson on 02 August 2013

It’s hard to know where to begin a response to the latest round of Home Office boasts about its offensive, ill-conceived and likely downright illegal innovations in immigration control.

Perhaps we should start with the lack of any clear legal basis for the spot-check immigration fishing expeditions they appear to be carrying out in ethnically diverse areas of the UK? Or the strong anecdotal evidence that they are picking on minority groups in an outrageous foray into racial profiling? Unbelievably, they have consistently referred to the individuals apprehended as “immigration offenders” (note to Home Office: in Britain we have traditionally waited for a Court verdict before branding people criminals – innocent until proven guilty and all that.)

A few short weeks ago, the Home Secretary stood up in Parliament and told us that illegitimate use of stop and search was undermining community confidence in policing. Now her department has embarked on a bout of speculative searches carried out in the absence of any legitimate grounds for suspicion. We should also mention that this isn’t the first time the spectre of immigration searches without suspicion has reared its ugly head. When Liberty objected to this policy last year, operations were suspended across the UK. Now they are back, apparently more aggressive than ever.

These Home Office operations have no basis in legislation and they are ripe for challenge. We’re delighted to hear that fearless race-equality campaigner and newly appointed Peer, Baroness Lawrence, will be taking the fight to the Government when she reaches the House of Lords.

In the meantime we want to hear from you if you were one of those stopped. Contact our lawyers at information@liberty-human-rights.org.uk.

We won’t let them get away with this.

Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson

Policy and Advocacy Manager