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Immigration and Passport Control

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last reviewed the (a) number of staff and (b) frequency of deployment of immigration and passport control staff at seaports and rail terminals in relation to airports; and if he will make a statement. (105163)

[holding answer 6 December 2006]: The review of Immigration and Nationality Directorate border control staffing is a continual process at airports, rail terminals and seaports. As part of our commitment to provide a secure border, staffing levels are constantly reviewed in line with risk assessments and business needs. Immigration coverage is based on a range of factors, including the nature and frequency of traffic and the numbers of passengers requiring leave to enter at each port. In addition, business targets and the associated bids to fund any additional posts are also taken into account when determining a port's staffing complement.

Border control staff are deployed to meet all services requiring immigration control and on a risk-assessed basis. As part of our “tipping the balance” initiative we are increasing the use of intelligence-led mobile teams to provide greater coverage of the border. The provision of advance passenger information by carriers under the e-borders programme is increasing the border agencies' ability to conduct informed risk assessments and deploy resources in a targeted manner.