Potentially dangerous offenders who have given officials the slip include those who were held but then released into the community.
A damning report by an independent inspector on the security shambles made “difficult reading”, ministers admitted yesterday.
It warned there was “little evidence” that effective action was being taken to locate the bulk of absconders, with nearly a third of planned deportations failing because of last-ditch legal challenges.
This report is of serious concern. We cannot have a situation where convicted criminals and illegal immigrants are free to roam the streets
“We need to act urgently to locate these people and bring them to book. Any foreign offenders found to have absconded should be booted out of Britain.”
The report will pile further pressure on Home Secretary Amber Rudd to pour more resources into the over-stretched Border Force budget.
The report will pile further pressure on Amber Rudd
“If we are serious about immigration enforcement we need to find more robust methods for removing barriers, get tougher with countries who don’t issue travel documents and invest in much better systems and processes for monitoring, tracking and removing offenders.”
The report by David Bolt, Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, said at the end of last year there were nearly 56,000 “declared absconders” – meaning UK authorities did not know their whereabouts.
More than 700 foreign offenders gave the authorities the slip after being released.