Clause 28

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 15th March 2007.

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Photo of David Davies David Davies Conservative, Monmouth 4:30 pm, 15th March 2007

To be truthful, the problem with setting any limits on any rules is that there will always be cases that make the rules look a bit silly. The truth of the matter is that if the amendments are passed, there will occasionally be somebody deported who one might reasonably think should not be deported. That will happen, but rarely. The problem at present is that there are many thousands of people in this country who should be deported—I believe that Government Members would agree with that—but who are not.

I give one example. I was looking on the force computer a couple of weeks ago and learned that a gang of pickpockets from Chile is operating in tube stations. There are about a dozen in the gang. They are constantly being arrested, but every time one is arrested, everyone else clubs together to get them a solicitor and get them out of jail, whereupon they go straight back to the tube and carry on picking pockets. It is done in an organised fashion and the people who are involved are doing nicely out of it. They are never, or very rarely, sent to prison, which surprises me, but if they were sent to prison, they would not be sent for12 months, because one is not sent to prison for12 months for picking pockets.

I suspect that everyone in this room would agree that those people should automatically be deported. There is no reason why they should not be sent back to Chile or why we should enable them to stay here to pick pockets on the tube, yet they are not deported.