Border staff with limited immigration training will plug gaps at London's Heathrow Airport over summer
Thursday 12 July 2012
Visitors arriving into London’s Heathrow Airport over the summer won’t suffer long queues, but they will be met by border staff with only basic training and little immigration experience, a watchdog’s report warned today.
John Vine, the chief inspector of borders and immigration, said extra staff drafted in during busy periods “appeared less confident” in processing passengers, and despite taking longer to get visitors through immigration asked “fewer probing questions”.
Some 500 staff who have left the business or have moved to other placements in the Border Force, UK Border Agency and Home Office have been brought back, ensuring immigration desks will be fully staffed.
After speaking to senior personnel at Terminals 3 and 4 in April this year, Mr Vine’s report claimed “some staff remained concerned about the potential risks of employing staff on the immigration control who had received only basic training and who had no immigration background/experience.”
There is also concern, he claimed, that such problems could continue after the Olympics if resources were “not sufficient” to deal with the ever increasing passenger numbers at Heathrow.
Immigration Minister Damian Green has been under pressure from Labour MPs to ensure that queues are kept to a minimum. Keith Vaz said he was “appalled” by hour-long waiting times earlier this week, while David Winnick said huge immigration lines could become a “national embarrassment”. The announcement of a two-tier system allowing passengers from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan to go to separate desks to other non-EU visitors also met with scorn.
A Border Force spokesperson said: “John Vine acknowledges the positive addition of hundreds of extra staff deployed to meet demand, the creation of a central control room to manage resources and on-going recruitment of more border officers.”
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...