Don’t report illegal immigrants if they’re crime victims, police told
POLICE should turn a blind eye to illegal immigrants if they are victims of crime, according to new guidance.
It says officers ‘will not take enforcement action in relation to any suspected immigration breaches’ when people have been crime victims.
The guidance was agreed by chief officers amid ‘heightened interest’ after the Windrush scandal, when it emerged that Commonwealth citizens had been wrongfully detained and deported.
It says that where a person reporting a crime is identified as potentially not having leave to remain or enter the UK, the ‘fundamental principle’ must be ‘first and foremost’ to treat them as a victim. The guidance includes a ban on checking the police national computer solely to see if someone is an illegal immigrant.
A paper setting out the policy says: ‘Where police are investigating a crime and… it becomes apparent the victim is also suspected of being an illegal immigrant, it is appropriate that the officer in the case should contact Immigration Enforcement at the appropriate juncture, whilst ensuring they are also treated as a victim.
‘The police will share that information with Immigration Enforcement, but will not take any enforcement action in relation to any suspected immigration breaches.’