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Immigration Officers: Airports

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has plans to increase the number of staff on duty at immigration counters at UK airports. (158536)

We are currently recruiting 118 additional immigration officers at UK airports.

We deploy staff based on published flight schedules and anticipated passenger loads as this is the most effective way to ensure prudent spending of public money. We do not allocate resources based on the number of desks a port operator makes available as this would lead to staff being completely unoccupied for significant periods of their working day. We take a number of measures at peak times to ensure that maximum numbers of staff are available.

This year these measures include:

The re-deployment of mobile search teams to the front-line;

The re-deployment of staff from support functions such as passenger caseworking