This is an extremely damning report on Government mismanagement of our border security - Cooper

10 May 2012

Yvette CooperYvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s report on Heathrow said:

“This is an extremely damning report on Government mismanagement of our border security.

"It makes clear that the Home Secretary's decision to cut so many staff is having a serious impact, with for example a 15% drop in border staff at desks at Terminal 3 even though passenger numbers have increased. It also shows that poor planning and management have made it worse.

"It is clear that too far too fast cuts and incompetence by this Tory-led Government are the cause of both unacceptable queues and security breaches too.

“Even with these huge queues, the report shows the Government has overseen a halving of the number of forgery examinations, with forgery experts sometimes not on duty. August 2011 saw less than half the number of detections of forged documents compared to 2010.

“Meanwhile 2011 has seen a large increase in absconders and a big drop in the number who are subsequently caught.

“But most damning of all is the fact that queuing targets as well as security checks were being so badly breached last autumn, yet Ministers have just sat back and allowed it to get worse.

“People will be flabbergasted at Damian Green's complacency. His claim that the Government has taken action since September to sort out these problems is flatly contradicted by the facts. Queues have got worse and worse.

“This Government is spectacularly failing on immigration control, making families returning home wait for hours, yet stopping fewer people who shouldn’t be entering out country from coming through.

“The Home Secretary needs to get an urgent grip and stop hiding from the problem. We cannot have a Home Secretary who stands by and allows this chaos to continue or get worse.”