Sham Marriages

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 23rd March 2015.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon 2:30 pm, 23rd March 2015

What recent steps she has taken to tackle sham marriages.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

This month, the Government introduced a new scheme to tackle sham marriages and sham civil partnerships allowing the Home Office to investigate suspected sham cases under an extended 70-day notice period. Since April 2014, we have intervened in more than 2,000 suspected sham marriages, and last year 30 organised crime groups involved in arranging sham marriages were disrupted, with many receiving long custodial sentences.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon

Will my hon. Friend update the House on the number of people he expects this country to protect itself against following the introduction of these new powers?

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

This has been a priority for me since I took on the immigration responsibilities last year. We will take strong action, including prosecution and seizure of assets. As for an update, this financial year we have undertaken more than 2,000 operations, resulting in 1,200 arrests and more than 430 removals, which compares with 327 sham marriage operations, resulting in 67 arrests in 2010, showing that, unlike the last Government, this Government are committed to this issue.