Clause 2

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 6th March 2007.

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Photo of David Davies David Davies Conservative, Monmouth 5:15 pm, 6th March 2007

Is it not the reality, however, that the smaller ports will end up with fewer designated officers and the larger ones will be where the designated officers are? Those are the officers who have to undergo the most training, and with the way things work, we all know that they will end up in the busiest ports, not the small ones. Surely, at the very least, immigration officers should have the power that police officers have at the moment, whereby if they are with a member of the public, they may ask that person to assist them in making an arrest. It is actually illegal for a member of the public not to assist if a police officer asks them to do so, although I do not think that that law is enforced in practice.

Surely immigration officers are more than capable of making a decision as to whether a person poses a danger. If that person has come through an airport, they almost certainly will not be carrying any knives or bladed instruments. If they have just jumped off the back of a lorry, they might have such dangerous items, and one might have to take a slightly different view as to how to restrain them. These are matters that immigration officers can surely decide for themselves. If the Minister is keen to trust immigration officers and public servants, is not the suggested approach something we could be doing?