Windrush: Home Office may revise up number of people affected by scandal

Analysis of nearly 12,000 historical records identified 164 members of Windrush generation who may have been removed, detained or stopped at border

Hayden Smith
Tuesday 13 November 2018 02:17
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Mr Javid has already apologised over 18 cases where it is deemed the department was most likely to have acted wrongfully
Mr Javid has already apologised over 18 cases where it is deemed the department was most likely to have acted wrongfully

An official count of Windrush migrants who were removed, detained or stopped at the border could be revised up.

The Home Office has tweaked its methodology after identifying possible cases where individuals who committed minor offences, but who were never prosecuted or were acquitted, were excluded from the figure.

An analysis of nearly 12,000 historical records identified 164 members of the Windrush generation who may have been removed, detained or stopped at the border.

When the figure was first published in August, the Home Office made clear it was provisional and subject to change.

So far, the department has excluded any cases which have a "criminal case type" marker.

In an update published on Monday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said this approach has been reviewed "to ensure we have not adopted too broad a definition".

He said: "Following work to review the population of previously excluded cases, we have identified that some individuals with a criminal case type marker may have committed only a minor offence/s or have been acquitted or not prosecuted. We have therefore revised our methodology.

"We will continue to exclude individuals who have been deported following a criminal conviction in the UK.

"These individuals will have committed crimes that were considered serious enough to have met the deportation threshold at the time and, as part of the deportation process, would have been offered the opportunity to make representations as to why their deportation should not proceed and to legally challenge the decision.

"For individuals that have not been deported (for example, individuals who have been detained but not removed) we will exclude them if they have been convicted of a single sentence of imprisonment of 12 months or longer."

Work is under way to review previously excluded cases and any who do not meet the criteria for exclusion will have their records checked to identify whether they came to the UK prior to 1973, and their details will be passed to the Home Office's Windrush taskforce.

Ministers faced a furious backlash over the treatment of the Windrush generation - named after a ship that brought migrants to Britain from the Caribbean in 1948.

Commonwealth citizens who arrived before 1973 were automatically granted indefinite leave to remain.

But some were later challenged over their immigration status despite living in the UK legally for decades.

Mr Javid has already apologised over 18 cases where it is deemed the department was most likely to have acted wrongfully.

Sajid Javid accused by Yvette Cooper of breaking promise by 'gagging' Windrush victims in return for fast-track compensation

In a letter to the Commons Home Affairs committee, the Home Secretary said officials have traced 117 of the 164.

Eleven are dead, while others either already have the status they need or are in contact with the Windrush taskforce.

Mr Javid previously revealed that the taskforce was poised to start rejecting some applications for citizenship or documentation.

In his latest update, he disclosed that the department issued 41 refusals in September.

Mr Javid also reported that nearly 2,500 people have been provided with documentation confirming their right to be in the UK, while a similar number have been granted citizenship under the Government's Windrush scheme.

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