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Immigration Controls

Home Department written question – answered on 15th October 2012.

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Photo of Alison Seabeck Alison Seabeck Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions the e-Passport gates have been switched off (a) because of mechanical failure and (b) due to staff shortages in the last six months.

Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper The Minister for Immigration

The figures on the number of occasions that the e-Gates have been switched off due to mechanical failure are not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost to the taxpayer.

Ports deploy their available staffing resource as appropriate. While e-Gates are an important part of our arrangements at the border there are occasions, such as when a high proportion of non-EEA passengers are expected to arrive, when the most effective use of resource is to deploy staff to other forms of clearance. Figures on the number of times this happens are not available centrally.

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