‘Much to be done’ by Home Office to identify vulnerability, says watchdog

‘Much to be done’ by Home Office to identify vulnerability, says watchdog

LASPO cut legal aid for most areas of immigration advice

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has called for more to be done to by the Home Office’s safeguarding of vulnerable adults to identify those in need. In  a report published yesterday, David Bolt stated, how well the Home Office’s Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS) ‘recognises and responds to the needs of vulnerable individuals is a test not just of its competence but also of its capacity for compassion – both of which have been questioned in recent months’.

Whilst senior management, and the majority of staff were ‘serious about improving the protection provided to vulnerable individuals’, the inspectorate noted; it added that ‘much remains to be done to develop a consistent understanding of what is meant by “vulnerability” in a BICS context, and the appropriate response, and progress is too slow.”

Examples provided within the report include that of a South African male who was found dead in March 2017, apparently having committed suicide. The Home Office had previously failed to flag previous indicators of self-harm. The Chief Inspector’s comments note that in not flagging this case, the Home Office was not ‘able to demonstrate that it discharged its duty of care in this instance, or met its objective of protecting the vulnerable’.

The report follows on from a number of other inspection reports into the immigration system and lists a number of recommendations, all of which the Home Office have accepted. Notably, the Chief Inspector said that previous inspections have ‘highlighted the absence of any monitoring or measurement by the Home Office of any negative effects’ into the ‘Compliant Environment’ measures introduced in the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts to make the UK less attractive to irregular migrants.

You can read the report here.