Immigration Officer - United Kingdom - At Ports

At Ports

An immigration officer at a port has the power to detain any person without arrest who is not a British citizen to investigate whether they qualify for entry to the United Kingdom under Schedule 2 of the Immigration Act 1971. Schedule 2 also gives an immigration officer the power to arrest without warrant anyone who is liable to detention.

The passing of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act created a provision for the Secretary of State to designate individuals as a "general customs official". Immigration Officers who have received the appropriate training are designated as general customs officials and can carry out customs functions in additions to their immigration ones. The passing of the act supersedes the process where the Customs Commissioners would designate officers as customs officials.

Designated Immigration Officers (DIOs) are designated by the Home Secretary, and only if they are fit and proper for the purpose, and suitably trained. Under Section 2 of the UK Borders Act, DIOs can detain any person without arrest in a port in England, Wales or Northern Ireland if they think that the individual may be liable to arrest by a constable for any offence under Section 24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 or Article 26(1), (2) or (3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, or if there is a warrant for their arrest. They can be searched and detained using reasonable force for up to three hours, and can be pursued if they leave the port. If a DIO detains a person, they must arrange for a constable to attend as soon as is reasonably practicable. It is an offence to abscond, assault or obstruct a DIO exercising their powers under this section.

However, Immigration Officers also have far broader powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 to examine, question, and search anyone in order to establish whether or not they appear to be or have been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. A person may be detained under Schedule 7 for up to 9 hours. The Immigration Officer need not have reasonable suspicion that the detainee has in fact been involved in terrorism. The detainee has a duty to provide the Immigration Officer with all information requested and a failure to do so constitutes an offence, punishable by 3 months imprisonment and a fine.

Read more about this topic:  Immigration Officer, United Kingdom

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