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Immigrants (Police Questioning)

Volume 977: debated on Tuesday 29 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue a circular to chief constables incorporating the terms of the guidelines to the police in the Metropolis concerning the questioning of persons as to their immigration status.

Home Office guidance to chief officers of police already invites them, while carrying out their duty to investigate cases where they have reasonable cause to suspect that someone may be an illegal entrant, to avoid any action which might be construed as harassment of immigrants, such as a request to inspect the passport of someone who comes to notice in connection with a minor offence but whom there is no reason to suspect of being in the country illegally.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what advice has been issued to the police by the Home Office concerning the conduct of police offcers who arrest or take into custody persons subject to deportation or removal under Immigration Act powers; in particular whether such persons are allowed similar access to a lawyer as a person charged with a criminal offence; and whether a relative or friend must be informed of their arrest;(2) whether persons detained in police stations under Immigration Act powers are given the same facility to contact a lawyer as persons arrested on other criminal charges.

The Judges' Rules and administrative directions to the police and section 62 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 apply to all arrested persons, including those arrested by the police in the exercise of their powers under the Immigration Act 1971. Home Office circulars on the Judges' Rules and section 62 were issued in 1978, and copies placed in the Library of the House.