Channel migrants landed in Britain with GUNS: Asylum-seekers triggered alerts on security databases

Channel migrants landed in Britain with GUNS: Asylum-seekers triggered alerts on security databases

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Channel migrants who triggered alerts on security databases have been allowed to vanish, a bombshell report warned yesterday.

They are among scores to have fled taxpayer-funded hotels without fingerprints or photographs being taken.

Some of the arrivals were armed with guns or other weapons.

The names of at least two of the absconders were flagged on police or border security databases. In other cases, missing biometric data made it impossible to determine whether they posed a criminal – or terror – risk. A number may be in danger of exploitation through forced labour or debt bondage.

Channel migrants who triggered alerts on security databases have been allowed to vanish, a bombshell report warned yesterday

The revelations led last night to Home Secretary Priti Patel being accused of presiding over 'flabbergasting' security lapses

The revelations led last night to Home Secretary Priti Patel being accused of presiding over 'flabbergasting' security lapses

The revelations led last night to Home Secretary Priti Patel being accused of presiding over ‘flabbergasting’ security lapses

The major report was written by David Neal (pictured), the chief borders inspector, who said: 'Put simply, if we don't have a record of people coming into the country, then we do not know who is threatened or who is threatening.'

The major report was written by David Neal (pictured), the chief borders inspector, who said: 'Put simply, if we don't have a record of people coming into the country, then we do not know who is threatened or who is threatening.'

The major report was written by David Neal (pictured), the chief borders inspector, who said: ‘Put simply, if we don’t have a record of people coming into the country, then we do not know who is threatened or who is threatening.’

Pictured: A group of migrant men arriving into Dover July 18 after making perilous Channel crossing

Pictured: A group of migrant men arriving into Dover July 18 after making perilous Channel crossing

Pictured: A group of migrant men arriving into Dover July 18 after making perilous Channel crossing

More than 15,000 migrants have arrived in the UK so far this year on small boats. Pictured are a group of migrants on a Border Force boat in Dover on July 18

More than 15,000 migrants have arrived in the UK so far this year on small boats. Pictured are a group of migrants on a Border Force boat in Dover on July 18

More than 15,000 migrants have arrived in the UK so far this year on small boats. Pictured are a group of migrants on a Border Force boat in Dover on July 18

The major report was written by David Neal, the chief borders inspector, who said: ‘Put simply, if we don’t have a record of people coming into the country, then we do not know who is threatened or who is threatening.’

The revelations led last night to Home Secretary Priti Patel being accused of presiding over ‘flabbergasting’ security lapses.

The Home Office had sat on Mr Neal’s findings for five months until publishing them yesterday.

His report found that at least 227 migrants have absconded since last September from hotels used to accommodate small boat arrivals from northern France.

The chief inspector looked at a sample of 57 absconders over a five-week period and found 38 had not had complete biometric checks – fingerprints and facial scans. This is despite them having been in the UK for between four and 29 days.

Of the 57 – all adult males – two had been flagged on the Police National Computer or the ‘warnings index’, a database that contains details of individuals who may pose security threats or who have a history of immigration offences.

The two men had no criminal charges against them, the report said, and it is not known why they were flagged.

The Home Office last night refused to disclose how many migrants have absconded since the start of the Channel crossings crisis.

The report said: ‘The lack of a retrievable biometric record caused concerns to a range of stakeholders.

Suspected child killer crossed Channel with boat migrants 

A suspected killer crossed the Channel into Britain under a false name weeks after being accused of the gang rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl.

Rasuili Zubaidullah boarded a boat with other refugees, claimed asylum and was housed in a hotel at British taxpayers’ expense for almost a fortnight until his true identity emerged.

Pictured: Leonie Walner

Pictured: Leonie Walner

Pictured: Leonie Walner

The 23-year-old Afghan had been accused of drugging Leonie Walner and sexually assaulting and suffocating her in Vienna. The teenager’s body was found last June rolled up in a carpet after she was abducted and taken to a flat in the Austrian capital by three people. Police launched a manhunt for a group of Afghan refugees who had boasted of having ‘wild sex’ after meeting a girl via social media.

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Zubaidullah arrived in Kent on a small boat on July 18 and lived in an Ibis Hotel in Whitechapel, east London, for two weeks before Austrian authorities tipped off the British authorities.

A judge approved his extradition and he was sent back to Austria to face trial.

‘Union representatives told inspectors that, when migrants leave [the Dover processing centre], it is not clear whether everyone has been through processing and their members are ‘concerned they cannot meet the country’s national security requirements’.

‘Others highlighted the lack of traceability of the migrant, from both national security and vulnerability perspectives.’

Mr Neal said the Home Office remained on an emergency footing even though the Channel situation was declared a major incident back in December 2018. He added that it was a ‘system failure’.

‘I’m not going to comment on the Home Secretary’s leadership. But I would say that the refusal from the Home Office to transition from an emergency response is a big mistake,’ he added. ‘Data, the lifeblood of decision-making, is inexcusably awful. Equipment to carry out security checks is often first-generation and unreliable. Biometrics, such as taking fingerprints and photographs, are not always recorded.’

The report said immigration officials were often confused about the rules they should follow when processing new arrivals and equipment frequently broke down.

‘Follow-up activity by Home Office intelligence teams on potential persons of interest was similarly undermined by poor record-keeping, leading to missed opportunities for intelligence exploitation and debriefing,’ the report said.

Mr Neal made a series of recommendations to improve staff training, guidelines and the way data is collected.

The chief inspector, who earlier this year revealed Miss Patel had yet to meet him more than a year after he started in the role, submitted his completed report to the Home Office on February 24.

But the ministry did not publish it until yesterday – when Parliament went into recess for summer.

Earlier this week the inspector issued a terse statement criticising the department’s delays and warning that it ‘devalued’ and ‘infringed’ his independent watchdog role.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: ‘This report is a truly damning indictment of a Conservative Government which has badly lost control of border security.

‘It is flabbergasting that ministers haven’t made sure basic fingerprints and biometrics are being taken from everyone who arrives.

‘When people can arrive and disappear without any biometric checks that puts national security at risk and encourages criminal trafficking gangs.’

The chief inspector looked at a sample of 57 absconders over a five-week period and found 38 had not had complete biometric checks – fingerprints and facial scans. This is despite them having been in the UK for between four and 29 days. Pictured: A biometric reporting station

The chief inspector looked at a sample of 57 absconders over a five-week period and found 38 had not had complete biometric checks – fingerprints and facial scans. This is despite them having been in the UK for between four and 29 days. Pictured: A biometric reporting station

The chief inspector looked at a sample of 57 absconders over a five-week period and found 38 had not had complete biometric checks – fingerprints and facial scans. This is despite them having been in the UK for between four and 29 days. Pictured: A biometric reporting station

Report savaged Priti Patel's department as 'poor' and 'overwhelmed' by migrant boats crisis

Report savaged Priti Patel's department as 'poor' and 'overwhelmed' by migrant boats crisis

Report savaged Priti Patel’s department as ‘poor’ and ‘overwhelmed’ by migrant boats crisis

A report found that at least 227 migrants have absconded since last September from hotels used to accommodate small boat arrivals from northern France. (Pictured: Migrants arriving to Dover in June this year)

A report found that at least 227 migrants have absconded since last September from hotels used to accommodate small boat arrivals from northern France. (Pictured: Migrants arriving to Dover in June this year)

A report found that at least 227 migrants have absconded since last September from hotels used to accommodate small boat arrivals from northern France. (Pictured: Migrants arriving to Dover in June this year)

Excoriating report on the Home Office's response to the migrant crisis was published today

Excoriating report on the Home Office's response to the migrant crisis was published today

Excoriating report on the Home Office’s response to the migrant crisis was published today

2022 figures so far show numbers increasing at pace and look likely to eclipse 2021's figures

2022 figures so far show numbers increasing at pace and look likely to eclipse 2021's figures

2022 figures so far show numbers increasing at pace and look likely to eclipse 2021’s figures

The number of migrants has continued to rise despite the government announcing its controversial Rwanda scheme. Pictured are two children being helped by Border Force officials after arriving into Dover, July 18

The number of migrants has continued to rise despite the government announcing its controversial Rwanda scheme. Pictured are two children being helped by Border Force officials after arriving into Dover, July 18

The number of migrants has continued to rise despite the government announcing its controversial Rwanda scheme. Pictured are two children being helped by Border Force officials after arriving into Dover, July 18

Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migration Watch UK, which campaigns for tougher border controls, said: ‘It takes only one or two really bad guys to get into the country, and who knows what they might be capable of. There should by now be the facilities and expertise available to take biometrics from Channel arrivals. But it seems to be totally out of control and a shambles.’

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A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Since the inspection took place, we have transformed how we manage the arrival of migrants.

‘We have accepted all the report’s recommendations, the majority of which were already being addressed at the time of the inspection, and almost all this work has already been completed.’

The Home Office is due to trial electronic tagging of Channel arrivals and plans to open reception centres.

Hundreds of Channel migrants have fled hotels and could be ANYWHERE: Inspector condemns ‘clearly overwhelmed’ Home Office and blasts it over ‘inexcusably awful’ security failures including letting criminal or national security suspects disappear

By Dan Sales for MailOnline 

The Home Office’s response to the surge in people arriving in small boats across the English Channel is ‘poor’ and ‘overwhelmed’, a major report by a watchdog said.

It said between September 1 and January 10 a total of 227 migrants had absconded from so-called secure hotels and were still missing.

Two of the people who had vanished were on the Warnings Index or Police National Computer, which alerts officials to those of interest to national security.  

And the decrepit equipment and areas used for processing was exposed to ridicule, including a Covid-19 isolation spot housed in a rusty shipping container.

The Home Office said today it welcomed all of the recommendations for improvements and had either already put them in place or was near to competing them. 

In a foreword to the report, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration David Neal said: ‘The number of small boat crossings in the Channel has reached such a level that it has been described as a crisis and the number one priority for the Home Office.

‘The volume is unprecedented, and on some days the system is clearly overwhelmed.’

He went on: ‘The Home Office’s performance in delivering an effective and efficient response to the challenge posed by the increasing volume of migrant arrivals via small boats is poor.

‘In my judgment, this arises principally from a refusal to transition from an emergency response to what has rapidly become steady state, or business as usual. This refusal permeates every aspect of the Home Office’s response.

‘Systems, processes and resourcing pathways, which months into the crisis should be routine, codified, auditable and familiar, have been delivered at ‘best effort’. This is not good enough.

Clothing taken from the initial processing of migrants arriving by small boat onto UK shores

Clothing taken from the initial processing of migrants arriving by small boat onto UK shores

Clothing taken from the initial processing of migrants arriving by small boat onto UK shores

This rusting shipping container was included in the report and was apparently a Covid area

This rusting shipping container was included in the report and was apparently a Covid area

This rusting shipping container was included in the report and was apparently a Covid area

‘Data, the lifeblood of decision-making, is inexcusably awful. Equipment to carry out security checks is often first generation and unreliable.

‘Extreme operational conditions, where resources are stretched, will inevitably lead to some degradation in data. Staff on the ground are doing their very best, but they are tired.’

Elsewhere in the report was a letter from Mr Neal expressing disgust at the conditions of a holding area at the Kent Intake Unit.

He described how it was ‘holding 40 Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC), of which 18 were in the holding room, in conditions that I judge to be unsanitary and squalid’

He added: ‘The conditions I saw were unacceptable. From my service in the Royal Military Police, I have significant experience of visiting detention facilities overseas, and I have never visited a detention facility in such a poor state.

‘The fact that this facility contained UASC aggravates the situation even further.’    

The report also looked at equipment used to search fingerprint databases.

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Grabba, which is a hand-held peripheral docked to a Home Office mobile phone, was described as ‘slow and temperamental’.

A holding area at one the processing points was savaged by the inspectors over conditions

A holding area at one the processing points was savaged by the inspectors over conditions

A holding area at one the processing points was savaged by the inspectors over conditions

Grabba, which is a hand-held peripheral docked to a Home Office mobile phone, was described as 'slow and temperamental'

Grabba, which is a hand-held peripheral docked to a Home Office mobile phone, was described as 'slow and temperamental'

Grabba, which is a hand-held peripheral docked to a Home Office mobile phone, was described as ‘slow and temperamental’

Checks by it were even suspended on some occasions, which no explanation on what would be used in its place.

The report added: ‘The Home Office could not consistently explain to inspectors what mitigatory measures, if any, had been put in place to manage the risks of suspending these security checks at this point of the process.’ 

Mr Neal previously said he was ‘frustrated’ the much-delayed report had not been published after it was handed to Home Secretary Priti Patel on February 24 this year.

The report made four recommendations which the watchdog urged be delivered within up to three months, meaning the deadline would have been May 24.

In his foreword, he said: ‘Sadly, nothing in this report will come as a surprise to ministers, officials, or the workforce. It is in the gift of ministers and senior officials to deliver an effective response. The workforce can do no more. 

Figures on small boats crossing the channel and the age of the people on board of them

Figures on small boats crossing the channel and the age of the people on board of them

Figures on small boats crossing the channel and the age of the people on board of them

‘They have responded with enormous fortitude and exceptional personal commitment, which is humbling, and they are quite rightly proud of how they have stepped up.

‘This report makes four recommendations and offers the Home Office a timescale to deliver those recommendations.

‘More important is the delivery of a strategic approach by the Home Office to regularise their response to small boats, in preparation for increased numbers throughout this year.

‘A new model for Borders and Enforcement is desperately required if our border is to be secured and vulnerability effectively addressed.’

The Home Office thanked Mr Neal for the report, adding: ‘Since the inspection took place, we have transformed how we manage the arrival of migrants making dangerous and unnecessary Channel crossings in small boats. This includes the previously planned closure of Tug Haven and the movement to a two-site operation at Western Jet Foil and Manston.

‘We have accepted all the report’s recommendations, the majority of which were already being addressed at the time of the inspection, and almost all this work has already been completed.’

Afghan boy, 11, is mistakenly sent to France instead of UK

An Afghan boy was mistakenly sent to France instead of the UK, where he was meant to reunite with his family.

Conservative MP Bob Blackman criticised the Home Office for allowing the 11-year-old to become stranded in France.

He said: ‘It just can’t go on like this.

‘There seems to be a lack of co-ordination and communication because the Home Office says one thing to the constituent and another thing to my office and that can’t be right.

‘There seems to be a case where even people who have paid for the priority [passport application] service are not actually getting the service within the timeframe and that’s scandalous.’ 

‘Yesterday at the hub in Portcullis House, staffers were waiting up to four hours to be able to see people.

‘We’ve even had delays with the biometric cards and applications where one constituent has been stuck in Turkey since Christmas, waiting, and they can’t get home to be with their family.

‘This has got to change and it’s got to be clear.

‘The bureaucracy is a nightmare. We need to get this resolved.’ 

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