Home Office written question – answered on 15th January 2015.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Labour, Birkenhead

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which datasets her Department draws upon in checking if asylum seekers have criminal records; what improvements she is requiring in those datasets; and if she will make a statement.

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

Holding answer received on 09 January 2015

Everyone claiming asylum in the UK undergoes a series of checks against immigration and police databases. Asylum claims are screened to identify individuals who may have been involved in serious criminality outside of the

UK. This includes (but is not limited to) war crimes, crimes against humanity and terrorism.

Asylum claims are also screened for indicators of national security interest and, where identified, further checks and investigations are undertaken. We now run more checks than were carried out under the previous government and the

process is clearer and more consistent.

The UK holds a watchlist of adverse information and intelligence drawn from a variety of sources, including Security and Intelligence Agencies and the police. The system is used by Home Office staff for the purposes of national

security and the detection and prevention of crime. Checking against the watchlist provides the means of intervention through pre-entry checks (when applicants apply for visas), at the border (when they enter or leave the UK)

and in-country applications for extensions of stay and Indefinite Leave to Remain. It is longstanding policy not to discuss either the specific data held on the watchlist, the source of the data or how it is used as to do so would be


All checks are now mandated for every asylum claim at point of claim, in addition all claimants who apply for asylum support are checked against the asylum support database( ASYS) and undergo a credit reference check. There is a clear record of all checks made, with a disciplinary procedure in place if staff fail to undertake them.

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