According to a study issued this week by Migration Watch UK, only 11,000 of the UK’s 80,000 foreign and immigration offenders – those regarded as of greatest risk – were contacted in person, allowing tens of thousands to be contacted over the phone and without sufficient verification.
The results enraged GB News anchor Nigel Farage, who criticised the absence of stringent inspections and warned of the dangers to the UK.
The Brexiteer criticised the news, saying, “What the hell is going on! We are doing a few random telephone checks to check on them?”
“Have we literally just given up?”
Mr Farage slammed the matter as another pandemic-related disaster, questioning where the UK can proceed from here.
However, David Coleman, Professor of Demography at Oxford University, spoke on the programme and condemned the government’s “neglect and indifference” to the problem of migration as a significant cause of the disarray.
“The big thing that is going on is the government’s relative neglect and indifference to the problem of migration and the inadequacy of resources,” he added.
The professor acknowledged that Covid is a contributing factor in the situation but noted that the research does not specify whether the reduction in migration officer numbers was due to the virus or measures linked with the virus, such as social separation.
However, he said that he would be “surprised” if precautions were used as an excuse for a lack of inspections, citing the risks of such an approach as well as citing examples of many professions that we’re able to continue functioning safely throughout the epidemic.
According to the professor, part of the issue with the drop in criminal checks might be connected to the growing demands on border police personnel to deal with migrant crossings over the English Channel.
“I understand about 250 officers have been moved to the Channel ports in theory to control the arrival of illegal immigrants over the water, but in practice, of course, to facilitate their arrival,” Professor Coleman said.
However, he suggested that, despite a deficit of personnel to examine criminals, offenders were simply not “properly interrogated” about their pasts and plans for the UK.
“Data was not properly collected, records weren’t being correctly preserved, and so what little that was done seems to have been extremely badly done!” the Oxford professor chastised.
According to the article, confusion ensued when in-person inspections were cancelled due to the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Consequently, the study detailed how the surveillance of foreign criminals and illegal immigrants had spiralled out of hand, as seen by the numbers given by the watchdog.
According to the research, “The majority of individuals currently required to report are those whom the Home Office considers present the greatest potential risk of causing harm to UK society.”
“Often foreign national offenders with previous convictions in the UK.”
However, David Neal, the head inspector of Migration Watch UK, said that “very little evidence” of “proactive questioning and recording of a significant change in a reportee’s personal circumstances” was identified in the case of these people.