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Volume 109: debated on Saturday 2 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the passengers from the Indian sub-continent who sought entry to the United Kingdom at Heathrow airport between 11 and 15 October 1986, were (a) admitted within that period, (b) refused entry within that period, (c) refused entry at a later date and (d) still await a decision.

The information readily available refers to passengers who arrived at Heathrow airport, Terminal 3 only and is as follows:

  • (a) approximately 5,000
  • (b) 331
  • (c) 294
  • (d) 297
  • Note: The figures at c and d above do not include cases transferred to other ports.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers and immigration officers were involved in the operations on 12 December 1986 at (i) prison department headquarters at Cleland house and (ii) the Parole Board at Abel house; how many people and of what nationalities were (a) interviewed and (b) detained in the operation; for how long and where; what was the immigration status of those who were arrested and not charged; for how long they were under arrest; and with regard to what breaches of immigration controls these people were interviewed or charged.

    This was a single major joint operation, involving 16 police officers and 15 immigration officials, planned specifically to investigate suspected offences under the immigration laws.A total of 26 people employed by a contract cleaning company were interviewed, 25 Ghanaians and one Nigerian. Of these 14 were arrested and taken to Rochester Row police station with the following results:

    • Five (including the one Nigerian) were charged with working in breach of conditions;
    • Three were judged to be illegal entrants;
    • Three were charged with overstaying;
    • Two were overstayers who were given notice of intention to deport them; and
    • One, whose status was in doubt, was bailed to reappear the next day but failed to do so. He remains untraced.

    Following initial custody at Rochester Row police station two of these people were transferred to Harmondsworth detention centre the following day, and two others to Latchmere House remand centre on 15 December, pending removal from the United Kingdom. The periods spend in detention in these cases were: l½, 14, 19 and 33 days.

    In the other cases in which people were arrested the periods spent in custody, all at Rochester Row police station, were:


    4 hours or less1
    Over 4 hut under 6 hours3
    Over 6 hut under 9 hours2
    Over 9 hut under 24 hours4

    Of the 12 people who were dealt with at their place of work:

    • Two were judged to be illegal entrants. They were released temporarily pending removal from the United Kingdom;
    • Two were found to have been refused leave to enter and to be on temporary admission pending further consideration of their cases;
    • One was an overstayer, time-barred from prosecution, whose case merited further consideration;
    • Four were found to have no restrictions on their taking of employment in the United Kingdom;
    • Three were asked to produce evidence of their status, which could not be determined at the time. Their cases are still under consideration.

    This operation was conducted in accordance with the recommendations of Home Office Circular 131/1980, of which a copy was placed in the Library in December 1980.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he proposes to make any changes to the list of ports of entry designated under the Immigration Act 1971.

    An order will shortly be made to replace the Immigration (Ports of Entry) Order 1972 as amended. Ramsgate will be added to the list of seaports and hoverports now designated and Ramsgate Hoverport will be deleted from that list. Leeds/Bradford Airport will be added and Lydd (Ferryfield) deleted from the list of airports.Edinburgh (Turnhouse) and Newcastle (Woolsington) Airports will be re-designated as Edinburgh and Newcastle respectively.