Asylum: Mobile Phones

Home Office written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the (a) process is and (b) agreed timescales are for the return of confiscated mobile phones to asylum seekers by Border Force; and what steps her Department takes to communicate that process to affected asylum seekers.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Immigration Enforcement search all migrants upon arrival at the Tug Haven at Dover. In the event that a mobile phone is discovered it will be seized as part of an investigation into the organised crime group involved in the facilitation.

The migrant will be informed verbally that the phone will be kept for evidential purpose for three to six months. They are provided with a receipt and contact details. Attempts will be made, to communicate this in their first language, although this can be challenging due to external factors.

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