"Snatch squads" being set up in London to deport "failed asylum seekers"



The UK Immigration Service have announced plans to dramatically increase the number of "failed asylum-seekers" detained and/or deported from 10 a day to 80-100 a day. In the past such raids have required the presence of Metropolitan Police to effect detention, now the Immigration Service are going to undertake this role alone with appropriately trained officials. Asylum-seekers will either be taken to an airport for immediate removal or to a central detention centre in an empty police building in North West London.

Three reports on the initiation of "snatch squads" have been discussed by to the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA, part of the Greater London Authority) in September (see below for full-text). The MPA's own report says that such raids are: "likely to generate community tension and possibly a requirement for public order maintenance". The report further observes that: "In the event of a death or serious injury occurring while a person is detained it is highly likely that there will arise a public perception that the fault lies with the Metropolitan Police Service".

Jenny Jones, a Green group assembly member of the Greater London Authority said: "None of us wants a repeat of the Joyce Gardner tragedy and the resultant riots in London".

Full-text documents ("pdf" files):

Use of MPS Custody facilities by Her Majesty's Immigration Service

Joint Protocol between the Immigration Service and the Police Service for the Removal of Immigration Offenders

Service Level Agreement: Arrests in the community by Immigration Officers officially designated for this purpose



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