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Crime Crime

Make it harder for convicted criminals to enter the country

Last updated: 11:02pm 15 December 2018

We will take action to make it harder for people to enter the country if they have a criminal conviction…

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.44

Our verdict

In August 2016, two Turkish men with a record of previous offences overseas were convicted of killing a third man in the UK. Cases such as this put pressure on government to prevent the entry into the country of people with existing criminal convictions. This policy aims to do that.

To make it harder for convicted criminals to enter the UK, the government can either increase support for the Border Force under existing arrangements, or alter the legal grounds for refusing entry to the country.

In terms of supporting the Border Force, the annual report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration for 2017-2018 said border security was “essentially effective” but “familiar concerns persisted”:

“While these systemic weaknesses remain, it will be hard…to satisfy the Inspectorate…that misgivings about overall decision quality…are misplaced”

The Home Office regularly responds to the various inspection reports, accepting some recommendations and rejecting others, but the annual report summarises the Chief Inspector’s thoughts on progress throughout the year.

As far as pursuing legal avenues for making it harder for those with criminal convictions to enter the country, we can find no evidence under this government of such changes to the general grounds for refusing entry.

The Chief Inspector implies there has been no significant improvement to border controls, and we can find no legal attempt to make it harder for people to entry the country with a criminal conviction. We’re marking this as ‘not started’. If next year’s annual report points to an improved situation at border control, or if the government introduces legislation to alter entry requirements, we’ll be able to move this to ‘in progress’. Follow this policy for the latest developments.

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