Clause 18

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:31 pm on 13th March 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Joan Ryan Joan Ryan Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 6:31 pm, 13th March 2007

The hon. Gentleman refers to designated immigration officers. That might be where there is a problem in the drafting of his amendment. I am not clear whether it is unintended or not. It says

“‘designated under section 1 of the UK Borders Act 2007.’”

If his amendments applied, the only immigration officers who could have these powers would be those who are designated to detain at port. Whereas the immigration officers that we are talking about, and the powers we wish them to be able to use in relation to asylum support fraud, are not necessarily at port at all. According to the Government, the designation is that they will be designated as arrest trained.

Those exercising the power of seizing evidence would also undergo training with the Assets Recovery Agency. We need to be cautious about not confusing the use of the term “designation.” Those officers will be arrest trained in the manner that I have just explained as they are to exercise exactly these powers in relation to the other offences that I outlined. However, according to these amendments, and as we have discussed previously, only those officers

“‘designated under section 1 of the UK Borders Act 2007’” could carry out this power of arrest, which are those designated to detain at port. That would not make sense.