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Immigration: Powers of Detention

Volume 697: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Statement by the Lord President (Baroness Ashton of Upholland) on 14 November (Official Report, cols. 477-95), what action they are taking to ensure that where the new UK Border Agency uses powers to detain and other powers otherwise exercised by the police, its personnel will be subject to the same rigorous standards of conduct as those laid down for the police in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 code of practice. [HL348]

The Government are committed to ensuring that in the exercise of all their enforcement powers, including those to detain individuals at ports in support of the police, officers of the new UK Border Agency are subject to comparable standards of conduct as those laid down for the police. Similarly, appropriate and proportionate safeguards and oversight mechanisms are also in place.

The specific new power to detain mentioned by the Lord President (Baroness Ashton of Upholland) in her Statement on 14 November are those contained in Sections 1 to 4 of the UK Borders Act 2007. In commencing these powers, robust safeguards and oversight mechanisms in the form of clear and specific standard operating procedures are being developed alongside specialist training before individual immigration officers are designated with these powers.