The National Audit Office has accused the Home Office, in a ‘damning report’ of being inefficient in its approach to deporting foreign national criminals. The highly politicized issue of deportation of foreign national offenders has been the subject of increased funding in recent years. The report found that despite a ten fold increase in the number of officials working on the case the Home Office had made little tangible progress towards meeting it’s target
The Immigration Minister James Brokenshire attempted to deflect the criticism by stating that ‘criminals attempting to cheat the system cost us all money and are an affront to British justice.’ However, the National Audit Office found that a third of failed removals might have succeeded had there been fewer administrative errors on the part of the Home Office officials.
The report cannot be viewed in isolation, it follows a similarly critical report by the former Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine release in March 2014. It should also be looked at against the backdrop of public sector austerity, and recurrent problems with the UK’s immigration system that has led to the body responsible being disbanded twice in the last decade. With less funding available and continuing problems at the Home Office with backlogs of immigration applications it is concerning that so much money has been spent inefficiently.
The political backlash against immigration, supported implicitly and explicitly by major and fringe political parties, and the continued focus on the negative aspects of it has already tainted the image of immigrants of all nationalities and backgrounds. It is now clearly distorting allocation of resources but there seems to be worryingly little political oversight of how the resources are spent.
31 October 2014