Border Agency tube station search

Dark-skinned members of the public have been picked out for searches and identity checks by a uniformed Border Agency team operating at a tube station in an area targeted by the so-called ‘Racist Van’. The picture above shows the “intimidating” team of four large officers operating at Kensal Green station earlier today.

A source told Scrapbook:

“They claimed to be conducting “random” checks for IDs at the station, but totally ignored me as a pasty white British person and stopped the two non-white people behind me.”

We have asked the Home Office whether an increase in high visibility patrols has been timed to coincide with ‘Racist Van’ campaign, which has seen mobile advertising boards tour boroughs with high levels of immigration.

UPDATE: A Home Office spokesperson told Scrapbook  that this was “a routine operation and visits such as these have not increased to coincide with the recent ad van advertising campaign.”

“Immigration Enforcement officers conducted an operation at Kensal Green Tube Station at 6am today (Tuesday 30 July) where they questioned individuals to check if they had the right to be in the UK.

“They arrested three people. A Ukrainian women, aged 33, and Indian man, aged 44, were both found to have entered the country illegally and a 59-year-old Brazilian woman had overstayed her visa.

“The Ukrainian and Brazilian women have been transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the country. The Indian man has been placed on immigration bail. If found to be in the UK illegally he too will be removed from the country.

“Our officers carry out hundreds of operations every year around London, and where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them.”

We’ll see whether their own figures bear that out.

  1. Sam Barnett-Cormack says:

    Skimming the resource linked by T Gray, it also appears that the key power doesn’t allow them to compel someone to stop and answer questions, and only allows them to attempt consensual questioning if they have reasonable suspicion about that individual.

  2. Dave Punshon says:

    Pandering to populism is becoming the trademark of this Government “reap what you Sow ” springs to mind

  3. How do you propose the country tackles the massive issue of illegal immigration then? Whilst I don’t agree with the van, particularly the ‘go home’ sentiment, I don’t see why having random searches is such an issue. And given that illegal immigrants would be statistically likely to have darker skin, especially in the area being searched, why is it wrong to stop people that could potentially be illegal immigrants?

    If they stopped every person in an effort to come across as more ‘fair’, then it would be more costly and time consuming.

  4. Anthony – we could perhaps start by banning the Daily Mail (and its ilk)? Then less people will get their knickers in a twist about trivial non-issues and the country will be a happier place.

  5. Sam Barnett-Cormack says:

    Anthony, I’m not aware of evidence of a “massive” problem with illegal immigration. But in any case, the most obviously applicable reason not to do the things you describe is that it’s illegal.

  6. Sam Barnett-Cormack says:

    The guidance also makes clear that street operations can’t compel searches, and can’t be random in what people they approach to request IDs and invite to answer questions.

  7. Tracy Walker says:

    To answer your question, Anthony, targeting people based on skin colour is a form of harassment of many British people. The law doesn’t allow it. A better reason not to do it is that’s it’s fundamentally unfair and divisive.

  8. Anthony, 9 out of 10 immigrants our white. I very much doubt if an illegal immigrant wanted to travel they would use public transport. Plus, who walks around with their passport et al at hand.
    Anthony, I take it you are a white male, does that mean the police should check your computer to make sure there is no child pornography as while males are more likely to have it.

  9. Anthony, try and imagine yourself as a ‘person with darker skin’ being stopped and questioned by threatening-looking uniforms for no reason except that you have darker skin. I hope that tells you why it is a repulsive, racist practice.

  10. Gauleiter Smith says:

    Anthony, you sound a bit foreign. Can you prove that you’re not an illegal immigrant? Perhaps you’d like to step over here and speak to the large, aggressive looking man in the intimidating uniform? You do have your papers on you, don’t you?

    Don’t worry… if you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to fear.

  11. Ian Bunkum Shit says:

    “How do you propose the country tackles the massive issue of illegal immigration then?”

    Getting a fucking perspective on the size of the issue in comparison to corporate tax avoidance etc. might be a good start.

  12. This practice is wrong, morally wrong. One of our fundamental freedoms is the right to go about our business without any proof whatsoever. To summarily withdraw this right from someone because they look ‘foreign’ is not only immoral and illegral, it is also the slippery slope to South Africa-style Pass laws, and the demonization of a social group. In any case, illegal immigrants are costing us a fraction of the money evaded by tax-cheating mega corporations.
    The usual, divide-and-rule, pick-on-the-weakest tactics typical of the Conservatives. We’re all in it together?

  13. Yes you should not assume a non-white person is any more likely to be an illegal immigrant. 9 out of 10 immigrants may be white. How many of these are European or Irish though. A simple ID card check would stop them from being further checked. Even as an English white male I still carry a couple of forms of ID around with me, I would expect others too also. Obviously they will be statistically more likely to check someone who has got ID from outside the EU or has not got ID. I would assume they are effectively forced to check those without ID, who ever they are.
    As for the ‘aggressive large looking people’ isn’t that a form of discrimination? I am 6 foot 3 and 14.5 stone, I would hope people would not avoid me due to my physical traits . . . .

  14. Steve, the law does not require you to carry ID. For civil servants to be able to demand to “see your papers” would be another step towards tyranny. As it stands, these people have no authority to demand anything from anyone. They are not police and yet it appears they have deliberately dressed so as to look like police officers, which I believe constitutes a crime in this country.

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