Labour attacks Home Office racial ‘profiling’


9:51 pm - August 2nd 2013

by Newswire    


      Share on Tumblr

Labour’s shadow immigration minister has written to the Home Secretary today expressing concerns about racial profiling on London streets.

Chris Bryant MP said that while it is in everyone’s interest to combat illegal immigration, racial profiling was not acceptable and should not be happening under any circumstances.

He said: “Operations need to be intelligence-led not based on ethnicity.”

In the letter he asks if Home Office enforcement officers record the ethnicity of those they stopped.

He also asks whether everyone stopped was under reasonable suspicion of being an immigration offender.

Text of letter below:

Dear Home Secretary,

Recent enforcement operations

It is in everyone’s interests for illegal immigration to be tackled. Being in the UK illegally is not in the interests of migrants – some of whom may have been trafficked here – UK citizens working hard and playing by the rules, nor our society which relies on fair rules being enforced.

That is why we have raised concerns with you that less than one in 10 intelligence reports to the Home Office about illegal immigration resulted in any action. It’s why we have raised concerns about the 50% drop in people being stopped at the border, about the huge delays to the e-borders programme, about fewer checks with employers and fewer fines for those employing illegal workers.

We need an intelligence-led approach to this problem, which means following up reports of illegality. Right now the Home Office isn’t doing that.

As chapter 31 of the Home Office guidance on immigration enforcement states, “enforcement visits constitute immigration work of the most sensitive kind”. The guidance is in place to prevent racial profiling, to prevent communities of legal UK citizens feeling harassed or targeted unfairly.

In addition, last month you made a statement to the House of Commons regarding stop and search powers of the police. You said that in your opinion they were over used and that targeting simply based upon ethnicity was wholly unacceptable. We fully support both your review of stop and search powers and your contention that profiling was not acceptable.

In light of the Home Office guidance in place, and your statement on stop and search, I have some specific questions regarding enforcement action that has been briefed by the Home Office to the media this week.

First, did Home Office enforcement officers record the ethnicity of those they stopped?

Second, the Home Office guidance for immigration enforcement notes that “before seeking to question someone, an IO will need to have information in his possession which suggests that the person may be of immigration interest (that is there are doubts about that person’s leave status). Under these circumstances the IO may lawfully seek to stop that person with a view to asking them consensual questions about their identity and leave status away from the point of entry to the UK and after the date when that person first entered the UK. The information in the IO’s possession should be sufficient to constitute a reasonable suspicion that that particular person may be an immigration offender”.

This is, rightly, clear guidance. So can you confirm whether everyone stopped was under reasonable suspicion of being an immigration offender and on what basis?

Third, in Singh v Hammond the Court held that: ‘An examination [under paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971] … can properly be conducted by an immigration officer away from the place of entry and on a later date after the person has already entered … if the immigration officer has some information in his possession which causes him to enquire whether the person being examined is a British citizen and, if not, … whether he should be given leave and on what conditions.’

So can you confirm credible information was in the possession of the Home Office which led to each person being stopped?

Finally, the guidance concludes that the “power to examine does not include a power to compel someone to stop or to require someone to comply with that examination. Should a person seek to exercise their right not to answer questions and leave, there is no power to arrest that person purely on suspicion of committing an immigration offence”. Was this explained to the many British citizens stopped at tube stations?

You will understand that legitimate questions are being asked about these operations. Indeed, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has said it too will be looking into them.

In your statement on stop and search, you said that “everybody involved in policing has a duty to make sure that nobody is ever stopped just on the basis of their skin colour or ethnicity”. That goes for everyone involved with the Home Office too.

I look forward to your prompt answers on how the guidance was followed.

Yours sincerely
Chris Bryant

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author

· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


1. Shatterface

New Labour incarcerated around 2,000 children of immigrants per year.

That rarely happened before they got into power and fell to 1,000 in 2009, to just over 400 in 2010 and to around 100 in 2011.

As objectionable as the current campaign is Labour don’t get to take the moral highground on this issue – any more than they do on disability or civil liberties.

Also, is this the same Chris Bryant who claimed there were too many immigrants in the hotel and construction industries? Kinda narrowing the job oportunities for people who’s English language skills may still be basic isn’t he?

Maybe some politicians should take a closer look at what is happening in France, Germany and many other European countries with the influx of Romanians. What happens when we get a situation that happened in Hyde Park spreading all over London and the rest of the country for that matter. I can’t stand the Conservatives but the Labour Party should be working with the Conservatives on this issue as it has the potential to explode internally within the United Kingdom in the not to distant future.

The European immigration setup is creating a European wide backlash and if the Political Parties do not work together all the immigrants are going to find that England is going to be the only place they can go. Then wee really will be in a mess.

In France and Germany in particular they are experiencing theft, pick pocketing, criminality on a elevated scale and make shift homes going up in numerous Cities, Towns and villages all over the place.

The Labour Party should now be working with the Conservatives on this issue rather than fighting them. If not the next general election is going to benefit UKIP and the BNP taking away vital votes that may be better used else where.

Before anyone criticizes my comment they should research what is going on over in Europe to get a better understanding of why the Conservatives are doing what they are.

I am also mindful that certain countries in question such as Romania will have the right to enable it’s citizens to enter England.

I have the idea though that many people just doin’t like any enforcement of visa regulations and deporting of illegal immigrants. Stopping people in the street might seem pretty arbitrary – and wrong even, but I think there would also be objections to the Border Police raiding businesses like the Halal butchers shops that have up to a dozen young Afghan men working in them, or like that indoor market in Southall that was shown on the other thread.
Or one of the social club/cafes that the Algerian young men hang out and play pool in at Finsbury Park London.
They will be a mixture of legal and illegal Algerian young men. Some having been granted asylum and some who have been refused, and several other kinds of immigration status categories I’m sure. Some might have citizenship for another European country for example.
But to go in there and ask for everyone’s ID and to question them all would be just as annoying to people who don’t like this kind of immigration policing.
As the Southall Black Sisters said in that video, ”everyone can live here”. They don’t want anyone to be told they can’t.

But well done to Sunny. I’ve seen him on the TV three times in two days insisting that this is all about British racism.
It’s odd though that such a racist country would have willingly become such a multi-cultural one and have mass immigration from Africa and Asia.

Labour tells the Tories what a nerve with interments camps in the UK, and the great politician Blair and Brown.

Sorry but I cannot write much more due to laughter and tears in my eyes.

@3:
Romania has no “right to enable its citizens to enter England”. What happened is that the UK gave its consent to Romania becoming a member state of the EU.
Are you aware of all the English using EU freedom of movement to live in other countries of the EU?

This is Sunny on Al Jazeera the other day.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2013/08/2013827238858662.html

He doesn’t like ”Go Home” because that’s what the NF used to say. That’s a bit spurious IMO. You can’t have banned phrases just because some no-mark losers used to say something that ”sounds a bit like it” 40 years ago.

Sunny says that the £3000 bond is ”clearly discriminatory” as it focuses on people coming from south Asia or certain African countries, and not on people from South Africa, New Zealand or Australia who also overstay.
”So it’s targetting Asians and blacks and saying you’re not welcome here”.

That is one of the most ridiculous arguments I’ve ever heard. Nigeria is not the same as Australia. I don’t think there’s a problem with thousands of Australians wanting to permanently move to the UK. Australians and New Zealanders come on year long backpacking trips, and most of those do it legally. If some overstay a bit it’s hardly a problem. British young people do the same over there. It’s not the same as Bangladesh.

South Africa might be a bit different. Many white South Africans have sought permanent immigration overseas. But talking about ”Earls Court” is just a joke – and it undemines all subsequent points you might make Sunny. Earls Court is a backpacker place full of backpacker hostels for Australians with their year long working holiday visas. Like Kings Cross in Sydney is for Brits and other overseas backpackers.

It’s perfectly fair for the Border Agency to focus on problem countries. You can not trust documents people produce at British embassies in places like Nigeria, as just outside you can by any kind of forged document you want. If people wanting to visit the UK don’t like the bond, blame the forgers and all the people who have cheated the UK immigration system before.
Or do you think that London can have a population of 15 million and still function?

Andreas Moser

Yes Adreas I fully understand my rights as a so called European and that I can live and work across Europe. However I must say that firstly and most importantly I must/should respect their way of life, laws, religions and everything else as a guest/resident to their country. As a guest or resident to those countries I must firstly decide if that is a country where I would be happy and fit in, including being able to financially support myself. Further more it is important not to cause offence to those that are already resident/born in that country that is their home where they are happy/settled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTl7K47pTcc

If you are not happy with a country’s way of life, like their customs, laws, religion or unable to support yourself then surely those people would be better of back home where they can have happiness and in many cases support themselves.

Many countries across the European Union have now realized that the present immigration system is not working for numerous reason and causing hatred.

So yes, if people cannot financially support themselves or fit in, they should leave this country. You would not take a lodger into your home if they could not pay the rent, fit in, abide by simple rules to make everyone live in harmony. It would make life unbearable.

@2 & 3

You seem to have a problem with Romanians and the Roma in particular.

10. Mr Turmoil

BuddyHell @ 9

I was just pointing out some examples, as I also did on comment number : 8.

If people do not like our way of life, customs, religion, cannot support themselves or want to fit in, then they should not be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom. What is wrong with that point of view. It’s not racist in any way, shape or form.

For gods sake, many people that come here have no intention of fitting in and in many cases they do not like our way of life. What I find astonishing is that many of these very people that are not happy here strangely chose to remain here.

Just an example as previously posted :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTl7K47pTcc

@11

Thanks for your patronising and ignorant reply. Next you’ll be repeating the lazy canard that all Roma are thieves and pickpockets. Away and shite with you.

@10

So you’re perpetuating the myth that all Roma are thieves? That’s just brilliant.

@10

This reveals your knowledge of the Other.

“If you are not happy with a country’s way of life, like their customs, laws, religion or unable to support yourself then surely those people would be better of back home where they can have happiness and in many cases support themselves”.

It’s the sort of stuff I read from racists all the time. Go on, start squealing about my use of the word “racist”.

15. Mr Turmoil

BuddyHell @ 14

If you can’t see the BIGGER picture in it’s entirety you are very much living in a world of tunnel vision.

To talk about my concerns regarding the British/European immigration system and how it is abused is now considered racism by some. That is just a convenient way to try and gag people that speak out. So to speak out against immigration is racism ! That is a bit like being accused of a serious crime that you have not committed.

So What Is Wrong With Speaking Out ?

16. CloseShave

Example of persecutions
(pogram-the zionists hide their satanic evil by ‘symbolically’ occultly, reversing things) on UK peoples by false-zionist-jews in
OUR HOUSE – Westminster

(known and warned about as “The Synagogue of Satan” in The Bible)

http://thebritishresistance.co.uk/writers/the-editor27/2229-nick-boles-mp-jewish-plaything-and-puppet?

Hint link to Thatcher > Grantham
(The current full-on attacks on all parts of BRITISH SOCIETY is Thatcher #2 on steroids)

17. CloseShave

The Romanians come from potentially the richest country in Eastern Europe.
Their country has biggest reserves of Gas/oil in that area. Trillions of dollars worth.

The zionist elites steal all their wealth from them as they are treated like animals and fall into sttheft as an alternatve way of life.

They should all be in the best welfare state in eastern europe and potentially all multi-millionaires

Just that the elites “forgot to tell them”
Now watch mass-exodus back home, overthrow of corruption and hopefully share in wealth beyond their present dreams!

Pass-it-on

Labour attacks Home Office racial ‘profiling’

Except the letter you publish doesn’t do that. What it says is:

“We fully support both your review of stop and search powers and your contention that profiling was not acceptable.”

In fact has the Labour Party condemned either the week long “vans campaign” or the long on-going Home Office raids on employers throughout the country, in order to find illegal immigrants?

I’d be interested in any evidence.

Illegal immigration is not a victim-less crime – legitimate visa applicants pay the price

@15

“If you can’t see the BIGGER picture in it’s entirety you are very much living in a world of tunnel vision”.

Hysterical tosh… like this below.

“that is just a convenient way to try and gag people that speak out. So to speak out against immigration is racism ! That is a bit like being accused of a serious crime that you have not committed.

If the cap fits. Of course, xenophobia is also part and parcel of this anti-immigration rhetoric.

Buddyhell – you come on here with a hysterical attitude, so discussing things with you is a bit of a waste of time.
If Roma people are moving to Western European cities and living in self-made shanty towns made out of wood, cardboard and plastic sheeting, I would say that’s definitely a problem. I’ve seen such a settlement myself last year outside Paris’ bus station.
If you think that’s not a problem – then fine.
I do, as it’s no way for people to be living.
It’s probably against the law too.

Maybe this ”France 24” website is saying ”all” Roma are beggers, but it isn’t.
Just like I didn’t say they were all thieves.

“The tourists pass by and stare at us but they never give us anything,” Adrian Attila-Kallai, a 30-year-old Roma, complained. He stared suspiciously at a group of Japanese visitors hastily snapping pictures of the family group as they leaned against a wall under their hanging laundry.

“It’s always the same,” he says. “We are hungry and no one gives us anything.”

Adrian, his mother Marienara and several of their friends and relatives have been occupying their stretch of pavement for several weeks, along with dozens of other Roma families, most of them from Romania.

What’s the point in talking with leftists who are just too far out there in fantasy land?

@20

“you come on here with a hysterical attitude, so discussing things with you is a bit of a waste of time”.

And you’re projecting “damon”.

This demonstrates your ignorance of the history of Roma persecution and marginalisation in Europe.

“If Roma people are moving to Western European cities and living in self-made shanty towns made out of wood, cardboard and plastic sheeting, I would say that’s definitely a problem. I’ve seen such a settlement myself last year outside Paris’ bus station”.

I think it’s people like you who are the problem and you have the cheek to accuse me of being hysterical? You should try some self-reflexivity, dude.

“What’s the point in talking with leftists who are just too far out there in fantasy land”/

Touché, there’s no point in talking to headbanging bigoted and ignorant right-wingers who are obsessed with the issue of race and live in a world that is isolated from historical materialism.

Over to you, “damon”.

Do you know what antiziganism is, “damon”?

I disagree with the AWL on a number of issues, but this is spot on.
http://www.workersliberty.org/node/3391

For someone with such a hardened antiziganist attitude, this is unlikely to impress you either. But what they hey?
http://www.chgs.umn.edu/histories/victims/romaSinti/gypsies.html

If Roma people are moving to Western European cities and living in self-made shanty towns made out of wood, cardboard and plastic sheeting, I would say that’s definitely a problem.

Surely the problem is the circumstances that led them to such desperation. No-one would move to “self-made shanty towns made out of wood, cardboard and plastic sheeting” unless they thought they’d be better off, therefore what they are moving from must be even worse.

Here’s another one for you, damon. No doubt you’ll tell me that you don’t approve of this kind of thing (in public)

“By Marton Dunai

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – A Hungarian court jailed four neo-Nazis on Tuesday for killing Roma families in a spree of racist violence in 2008 and 2009 that shocked the country and led to accusations that police had failed to protect an historically persecuted minority.

The gang killed six Roma and wounded several others in carefully planned attacks across the country over 13 months, creating a climate of fear for members of Hungary’s largest ethnic minority. Roma, who make up about 7 percent of the population of 10 million, face widespread discrimination and often live in dire poverty”.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE97508920130806?feedType=RSS&irpc=932

This demonstrates your ignorance of the history of Roma persecution and marginalisation in Europe.

This is a discussion website forum (or perports to be) and what you do is make that discussion very very difficult. It doesn’t really matter what the subject is, you will come on with the ideological ‘strongarm tactics’ to make sure that open dscussion is railroaded towards your chosen line and viewpoint.
If I mention about Roma people going to western European countries and not settling in very well (in a particular area) people like you will just start shouting about things like antiziganism.

I lived in Ireland for a couple of years recently, and this is what happened in one part of Belfast when Romanian Roma families moved into a Catholic small neighbourhood that had previously been very much only one community. The Belfast working class catholic community.

Members of the Lower Ormeau Road community have insisted “we are not racist” in the wake of a row sparked by a public meeting in which the area’s Roma residents were discussed.

The Romanian Roma people had moved to the Belfast, but were not allowed to work or recieve benifits, so they were Big Issue sellers and begged quite a lot or tried to sell flowers and trinkits to people in the night club queues or standing outside pubs.
It was a problem, because people were getting fed up of Big Issue sellers approaching their cars at traffic lights for example. No one likes that, but it’s what they were were doing every day.
This has nothing to do with my own opinions of the Roma, but is just what I would see.
Even in Normandy where I was last week, in small and medium sized towns, there was often a Roma person sitting outside the supermarket with a begging bowl. It’s not right that this situation should just continue like that for decades. It would be good if there could be some reasonable discussion about what should actually be done and not just knee-jerk denunciations from the left about people hating Romas etc. It’s boring and makes the left into a joke.

ukliberty, that’s an interesting point. But it comes across as very naive as if you just didn’t know anything. 15 years ago I heard the owner of a Bucharest Irish pub on the radio in Ireland, as he was back in Ireland on holiday and phoned into a radio programme where they were discussing the Romanian Roma asylum seekers who were begging in Dublin back then. Even miles outside Dublin city centre at a major traffic intersection where traffic was held at traffic lights for a long time. He said that back in Romania, he would have Roma guys come in to his pub with big rolls of Irish £20 notes asking him did he want to change money at a good rate.
The money had been earned on the streets of Ireland and found it’s way back to Romania where big houses were being built for prominent Roma families, and for flash cars.

It’s well known now that you can make money on the streets of European cities, and that the police and authorities are a pushover compared to the more brutal police in their own countries.
But it doesn’t mean that we should just give them stuff.
The more you just give, the more people would move to were people gave them the most. It was good in Ireland for a few years up until about ten years ago, when the Irish copped on that the ”asylum seekers” who they had gone out of their way to help, were actually just taking the mickey and trying to make a load of money as quickly as they could. Now things aren’t so good. One Roamnian woman I used to talk to in Belfast told me so. Hardly anyone gave her money any more or bought the Big Issue.
But just enough did to keep her out there all day.
Or they went to the churches on a sunday begging. That was a bit better, or the people queuing to get into the nightclubs might be carefree enough to give them something. But all in all, it was not so good I thought. Not something that just could just continue for the next decade.
If things are not good in eastern Europe, a solution is not just for them all to just move to western Europe. Not if they are not going to integrate anyway.

@25

You’re really the hysterical one, damon, as this quote from your comment shows:

“If I mention about Roma people going to western European countries and not settling in very well (in a particular area) people like you will just start shouting about things like antiziganism”.

You deny the historical persecution and the ontological arguments that are associated with present day Roma.

You’re also rather quick to claim that words like “racism” and “antiziganism” are being used to “shut down debate” but I would suggest to you that your protests are a typical strategy of the Right to hijack discourse.

Your position, which is shared by all xenophobes and racists is “Some Roma are thieves, therefore all Roma are bad”. Where I come from that’s called a logical fallacy.

You doth protest too much, damon.

Buddyhell is everything that is wrong with the left.
You can’t just have all the Roma moving to Western countries and see that as a solution if they are not going to integrate in those countries. If the move here like anyone else from eastern Europe there’s no problem.
But if they are going to come totally unprepared and move into squatter camps, that can’t be seen as positive, for anyone. Unless they use that drastic measure just as a temporary stage in getting proper housing and jobs.
To say such a thing doesn’t mean you hate anyone.

Well damon @26, if a bloke down the pub told you, it must be true.

ukliberty, you’re not making sense. IF what that man who ran a Irish pub in Bucharest said was true – then it was true.
There were many Romanian Roma ”working” the streets of Dublin and Ireland back then. I was living there and as a delivery driver at the time, used to see this large group who were working the major traffic light junction several miles to the west of the city centre. They were earning the old Irish currency before the Euro was introduced.
There were women begging at car windows with babies at some lights, while men were washing car windscreens at other sets.

You seem to be coming from the kind of liberal head-in-the-sand attitude that if you didn’t see it or hear about something – it probably didn’t happen.
And anything that is reported in the Daily Mail can be discounted. Even if there are pictures and video content to ”prove” something.

Several large family groups of Romanian Roma were working the streets of Dublin back then having claimed asylum.
When I was last in Dublin last year, there were still Roma beggars on the streets shaking paper cups at people putting money into the tram ticket machines and sitting next to car parking pay-points asking for money.

In Belfast there were half a dozen Roma houses near where I lived and Big Issue selling and begging was a mainstream way for WOMEN to add to the communal funds for the family group. Men worked in car washes and went scavenging, pushing hand carts. Like rag and bone men of old.
If you are of the opinion that any number of people like that can go to any country, town or neighbourhood and it’s just racism if anyone thinks that might be a problem, then you might be part of the ”problem left” too.

I use that term to describe people who will (for example) baldly state that illegal immigration from Australia to the UK is a problem the authorities need to focus on.

Australians – where the economy is doing quite well, are illegally coming to live in recession hit Britain.
Sunny said that on TV. Which is ridiculous.

Well Labour are worried somebody said Miliband was a socialist so he’s asking the home office who is the idiot who dared call him or his party a socialist.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy: Labour attacks Home Office racial ‘profiling’ | moonblogsfromsyb

    […] via Newswire Liberal Conspiracy http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/08/02/labour-attacks-home-office-racial-profiling/ […]





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.