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Immigration Doge

Race Hate Crimes - Against Officers / Staff

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Immigration Doge

Hello troops, long time no post! 

I'm back with another scenario I've encountered on numerous occasions and interested to learn if there's any process for the following:

I'm white, but work with many BAME officers - it's a massively diverse organisation, but one that has presented a very unique challenge for me. 

Over my years in front-line policing (immigrationing?) I've had the displeasure of witnessing my BAME colleagues called horric names, such as "traitor," "coconut," "choc ice" and many more. It's clearly affected them (anger, tears, etc) and has made me very angry - I've had to stand back and bite my lip 😡

So, to my question / scenario...

An officer on my team is called a name (as above) or has another racist term thrown at them (the offender is of any race). I witness this as an on-duty Immigration Officer, so therefore only have immigration powers + any person (S. 24A PACE, etc).

- Is an offence committed? 

- Is the offence summary, indictable or either way? 

- If Indict. / EW offence, is it reasonable for an IO to arrest, convey and present at custody... or would police need to attend? 

- Have people been nicked for this before (attacks on police) and have prosecutions been successful? 

 

I realise in this day and age officers are expected to take abuse on the chin, but I'm tired of "one rule for LEOs and another for MOPs" - if I can support my colleagues by taking action against abusers then it'll make me feel a lot less useless in these horrible situations. 

 

As always many thanks for your help guys 😊

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Billy Blue Tac

Are you Border Force or Immigration Enforcement, and are you a Designated Immigration Officer with PACE powers?

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Sceptre

If someone is caused or is likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress by the conduct involved, then it's likely you'll have S4A or S5 POA offences, racially aggravated according to S29 Crime and Disorder Act. These aggravated offences are triable either-way.

I'd be surprised if your employer didn't have some sort of process for supporting staff subjected to this sort of abuse, sharing information with the police etc, so it'd be wise to explore that or at least discuss it with your line manager before you decide to start making any-person arrests or conflating your immigration and policing roles given the safety implications and disruption to your duties. I'm presuming it's also likely that in many cases you'll have confirmed their identity anyway by nature of your job, so it'd be straightforward for the relevant police force to follow up after the fact.

If there isn't an effective policy, then maybe the most useful thing you could do might be to bring your policing experience to bear by pushing for one to be designed, guiding managers on how to approach such incidents, how to produce statements in an evidential format including a VPS, pushing for access to BWV or the ability to otherwise film contentious encounters, a single process for collating and forwarding these reports to the relevant police force for crime recording and investigation etc. 

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Strathy-

Sorry I'm confused... are you an immigration officers? 

If so, immigration officers shouldn't be getting involved in crimes that aren't immigration related. 

If you witness a crime (assault, racist remarks etc.) then the Police should be called and you should be a civi witness to the offence.

Its actually making me cringe at the thought of immigration officers locking up people for non-immigration offences. 

 

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Radman
On 29/06/2020 at 10:15, Strathy- said:

Sorry I'm confused... are you an immigration officers? 

If so, immigration officers shouldn't be getting involved in crimes that aren't immigration related. 

If you witness a crime (assault, racist remarks etc.) then the Police should be called and you should be a civi witness to the offence.

Its actually making me cringe at the thought of immigration officers locking up people for non-immigration offences. 

 

You mean just as cops don't get involved with immigration matters? 

Oh wait we do. 

I'm trying not to be overly critical here but this mindset is baffling because it totally undermines the principal of the rule of law within Britain "It isn't in your job description pal so don't even bother" is what you're saying. 

You're out on patrol with a colleague who is from a BAME background and some idiot starts racially Abusing them, you're going to lock them up aren't you? An immigration officer that is PACE trained, makes arrests, is entrusted with PPE should be able to carry out such an arrest, the same as if one of their colleagues was assaulted or obstructed. 

This identifies to me exactly why Border Force, Immigration services etc need to be reformed into a specialist constabulary model akin to BTP, CNC, MOD PLOD etc rather than a limited quasi law enforcement/civil service organisation. 

Edited by Radman

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Strathy-
2 hours ago, Radman said:

You mean just as cops don't get involved with immigration matters? 

Oh wait we do. 

I'm trying not to be overly critical here but this mindset is baffling because it totally undermines the principal of the rule of law within Britain "It isn't in your job description pal so don't even bother" is what you're saying. 

You're out on patrol with a colleague who is from a BAME background and some idiot starts racially Abusing them, you're going to lock them up aren't you? An immigration officer that is PACE trained, makes arrests, is entrusted with PPE should be able to carry out such an arrest, the same as if one of their colleagues was assaulted or obstructed. 

This identifies to me exactly why Border Force, Immigration services etc need to be reformed into a specialist constabulary model akin to BTP, CNC, MOD PLOD etc rather than a limited quasi law enforcement/civil service organisation. 

Sorry there's a bit of a difference when it comes to immigration and cops. We get involved in everything from trading standards, mental health, tax fraud etc. Our job requires us to work in a variety in fields enforcing laws in loads of different areas. 

Immigration officers job is to deal with immigration offences, anything above that they should allow the Police to deal with it. 

Immigration officers aren't trained to deal with those situations, don't carry the correct PPE to deal with it, arent given the same training and don't know any of the legislation that covers it. 

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Radman
19 minutes ago, Strathy- said:

Sorry there's a bit of a difference when it comes to immigration and cops. We get involved in everything from trading standards, mental health, tax fraud etc. Our job requires us to work in a variety in fields enforcing laws in loads of different areas. 

Immigration officers job is to deal with immigration offences, anything above that they should allow the Police to deal with it. 

Immigration officers aren't trained to deal with those situations, don't carry the correct PPE to deal with it, arent given the same training and don't know any of the legislation that covers it. 

They do carry PPE and they're trained to make arrests including when people resist and obstruct them. Bar arguably remit just what is the difference practically on paper? Both are trained to arrest, both follow PACE, both carry PPE, both are trusted crown servants. 

Ultimately they're law enforcement officers with a remit to make arrests and carry PPE in law. 

Your attitude is one of the primary reasons why we are so heavily relied on by every local authority or public enforcement body out there to deal with even core functions of their own duties, they've been told repeatedly by cops over the years "That isn't your job, we handle that not you" only for police officers never to be present when these situations arise. 

Just what practically is the difference between someone violently resisting an immigration officer arresting them lawfully for an immigration offence and someone racially Abusing them? Is there some extra complicated element in law outside of any person powers which would prevent an immigration officer, trained in PPE, restraint and arrest powers being able to arrest for such an offence? 

Edited by Radman

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CustomsBod

Sticking my head over the parapet... 

An Immigration Officer has the power to detain any person they see committing or suspect of committing a criminal act. They can, as long as they are PST certified, use the appropriate techniques to restrain, detain and lock them up for 3 hours expecting the arrival of a PC. Trained officers, both Immigration AND customs trained have the same PPE/equipment as a PC

I'm on the Customs side of BF, have no interest in Immigration even though I am a designated immigration officer - that's just an irk of the job however... Don't be fooled by the fact we are not constables. The powers of arrest under PACE are there. Powers of arrest under CEMA are there (and only if you are a customs official which really annoys my PC wife). This shouldn't be a slanging match as I have arrested people from smuggling cigarettes to weapons to firearms to tax evasion (we are all HMRC officers too) to common assault and vehicle issues (s.88 Cema - I will take your car and have it crushed/seized/sold for those 200 extra fags you hid...

Back to the point however - any racially aggravated rubbish - detain the offender, cuff them if necessary (obstruction/assault of an officer) get plod down there - nice and slow - 2 and a half hours is fine. Take a statement and let them prosecute. Or.... get your local NCA dude to do it for you - the NCA handle our prosecutions in those matters also and are always [not] happy to help.

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Radman
9 minutes ago, CustomsBod said:

Sticking my head over the parapet... 

An Immigration Officer has the power to detain any person they see committing or suspect of committing a criminal act. They can, as long as they are PST certified, use the appropriate techniques to restrain, detain and lock them up for 3 hours expecting the arrival of a PC. Trained officers, both Immigration AND customs trained have the same PPE/equipment as a PC

I'm on the Customs side of BF, have no interest in Immigration even though I am a designated immigration officer - that's just an irk of the job however... Don't be fooled by the fact we are not constables. The powers of arrest under PACE are there. Powers of arrest under CEMA are there (and only if you are a customs official which really annoys my PC wife). This shouldn't be a slanging match as I have arrested people from smuggling cigarettes to weapons to firearms to tax evasion (we are all HMRC officers too) to common assault and vehicle issues (s.88 Cema - I will take your car and have it crushed/seized/sold for those 200 extra fags you hid...

Back to the point however - any racially aggravated rubbish - detain the offender, cuff them if necessary (obstruction/assault of an officer) get plod down there - nice and slow - 2 and a half hours is fine. Take a statement and let them prosecute. Or.... get your local NCA dude to do it for you - the NCA handle our prosecutions in those matters also and are always [not] happy to help.

Brilliant and that is how it should be. 

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Zulu 22

I have worked several times with Customs Officers and have been pleased to do so. Some of the powers that they have are mind blowing and come in very handy when you are working with them.  What I wondered with is the unique power that they have which can bye pass the need for a warrant to search.

On the main point, I have known many BAME officers whop have been Racially abused by Hate Crime and, I must say that it is more often than not by other BAME people. I also lost count of the times I have been called a "White Honkey".  I was quite pleased with that as it usually meant that I was winning.

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Immigration Doge
Author of the topic Posted
On 29/06/2020 at 10:15, Strathy- said:

Sorry I'm confused... are you an immigration officers? 

If so, immigration officers shouldn't be getting involved in crimes that aren't immigration related. 

If you witness a crime (assault, racist remarks etc.) then the Police should be called and you should be a civi witness to the offence.

Its actually making me cringe at the thought of immigration officers locking up people for non-immigration offences. 

 

Strathy - I totally agree with you that IOs should NOT regularly be dealing with criminal matters outside of immigration. After all, our jobs are to deal with immigration matters and we are most definitely not Constables. 

However, in recent times Immigration Enforcement has had to deal with a lot of obstructions, assaults, criminal damage and even riot situations (particularly in London) due to rising political tensions (offenders are predominantly British!) Then there's things we stumble upon... I've had to nick for BoP to prevent a security guard getting filled in - not "my remit" but no immigration powers to deal with the situation and it's a choice between that or stand back and film it on my phone (which is something coppers are getting sick of, no?) 

In fact, in recent times we have actually been given powers specifically to help police with criminal matters (e.g. S.48 Immigration Act 2016) so that we can seize drugs, etc so local patrols don't have to divert to us finding a tiny amount of cannabis, etc - we can seize, book it into the nick and get it destroyed. This frees up police resources to deal with more urgent matters. 

We've often had situations whereby offenders aren't prosecuted because police haven't turned up in time (offender made-off) through absolutely no fault of over-stretched cops... we've just had to stand back and watch. This means justice is not being served because the offender is never found. I've actually had an immigration van vandalised in front of me and called for police assistance... coppers were there in 2 minutes, but the offenders were gone and never identified. So... YES it is sometimes necessary for us to act outside of our remit in order for offenders to be brought to justice. I often hear "just nick for obstructing an IO" (one of my actual powers) but hard to justify that when criminal damge is not obstructing me... criminal damage, is criminal damage. 

We don't have any remit, training or powers around RTCs, but we still stop to assist because any reasonable person would expect a uniformed officer (of any kind) to do the decent thing and help injured persons. Then there's other situations... if I saw a clearly intoxicated person getting into a car, should I just let them get on with it because "it's not my remit" or should I stop them? If I stop them I have NO immigration power to do so... so then what? I can't physically stop them without nicking them for some kind of offence or that would be unlawful detention. If I let them go and they kill someone, what's my defence in court? "Sorry m'lud it's not my remit" - that'll go down a storm. I may not be *technically* guilty of anything, but I will still be ripped apart by the public and press because I'm a uniformed officer trained in arrest and restraint... and just imagine how the loved ones would feel. Regardless of not being my job, I would never be able to live with myself. 

We are in a very strange place... we're not joe public, but we're not police. A member of the public would get away with "just stopping someone" because they aren't law enforcement professionals that would be grilled on powers, policy and more... but we are, so we still need to back up all our actions carefully, even if we're doing something in good public spirit, or using any person powers. We are still warranted officers with cuffs and a big metal stick - we would not be judged in court as "civvies."

Then there's police support. If you were getting your head kicked in and I just stood by because "I'm not a copper, it's not my remit" how would you feel about that? 

Sometimes, you have to go above and beyond your own remit to ensure public safety, deliver justice and protect community welfare. After all, if more people were like that society wouldn't be in such a mess... 😶

Plod are always annoyed at partners being unhelpful and dumping everything on police... so Strathy, please don't get an idea in your head that I'm trying to be a copper in an immigration uniform... it's about learning what I can do, so that any handover to police is "proper like" and ensures a decent prosecution. 

The reason I post threads like this is because I respect police officers and value your knowledge and advice. It's helps me and others to understand how we can be of assistance and what we can actually do to ensure prosecutions that are outside our remit. In the OP I never said I *would* nick someone for an offence... I was merely looking for guidance (which is somewhat lacking in my agency). 

United we stand, divided we fall 😉

 

As for everyone else, thanks for the replies, good answers! 

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Strathy-

First of all, I'm not bashing or trying to go against Border Force. Worked with loads of them had no issues with them at all and they've always been good at what they do. 

The original question was could IOs do this:

- If Indict. / EW offence, is it reasonable for an IO to arrest, convey and present at custody... or would police need to attend? 

In my opinion, absolutely not. This is a Police matter (this is our bread and butter offence) and the person should be handed over to the Police for it to be dealt with and they should become civi witnesses in the case. 

IOs don't know the legislation, arent trained to deal with it, can't submit crime reports, can't charge them with the offence and can't do the necessary checks on an arrested person. 

For some reason, @Radman + disagrees with this and thinks they have the power and training to present people at custody. 

My point is then backed up by: 

On 02/07/2020 at 14:17, CustomsBod said:

 

Back to the point however - any racially aggravated rubbish - detain the offender, cuff them if necessary (obstruction/assault of an officer) get plod down there - nice and slow - 2 and a half hours is fine. Take a statement and let them prosecute. Or.... get your local NCA dude to do it for you - the NCA handle our prosecutions in those matters also and are always [not] happy to help.

This is exactly how it should be done, I'm not sure why @Radman + is now saying this is correct when its not what he said above. 

Also just to add, I've got no idea how PACE works. 

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Radman
2 hours ago, Strathy- said:

First of all, I'm not bashing or trying to go against Border Force. Worked with loads of them had no issues with them at all and they've always been good at what they do. 

The original question was could IOs do this:

- If Indict. / EW offence, is it reasonable for an IO to arrest, convey and present at custody... or would police need to attend? 

In my opinion, absolutely not. This is a Police matter (this is our bread and butter offence) and the person should be handed over to the Police for it to be dealt with and they should become civi witnesses in the case. 

IOs don't know the legislation, arent trained to deal with it, can't submit crime reports, can't charge them with the offence and can't do the necessary checks on an arrested person. 

For some reason, @Radman + disagrees with this and thinks they have the power and training to present people at custody. 

My point is then backed up by: 

This is exactly how it should be done, I'm not sure why @Radman + is now saying this is correct when its not what he said above. 

Also just to add, I've got no idea how PACE works. 

Hold on a minute 😂

At first you said you'd laugh at the idea of an IO arresting for a criminal offence now you're agreeing that they can and will whilst waiting for the arrival of police. 

I never said any differently, the bottomline is this constant "it isn't your remit" rubbish has done nothing but undermine law and order within Britain. 

They also do have the powers and training to present people to custody, that's part of their daily remit... I regularly see IO officers bringing people to custody. 

As a Police Scotland Officer I think you're probably too used to not having many other organisations around you who exercise similar powers as yourself, I would suggest that's a failing north of the border with over politicisation of policing thanks to the SNP... It's warped your vision on how policing should operate. 

Edited by Radman

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CustomsBod
On 02/07/2020 at 17:08, Zulu 22 said:

I have worked several times with Customs Officers and have been pleased to do so. Some of the powers that they have are mind blowing and come in very handy when you are working with them.  What I wondered with is the unique power that they have which can bye pass the need for a warrant to search.

On the main point, I have known many BAME officers whop have been Racially abused by Hate Crime and, I must say that it is more often than not by other BAME people. I also lost count of the times I have been called a "White Honkey".  I was quite pleased with that as it usually meant that I was winning.

Ah the Writ of Assistance, A.161 of the Customs & Excise Management Act 1979. You have to be a Customs Official to utilise this particular piece of legislation. We can, with reasonable suspicion, enter any premises and search for essentially contraband. Drugs, Weapons, Tobacco products, Alcohol, Money, Persons..... etc blablabla... Anything I find of Police Interest I nick and detain and call plod. Same goes for vehicles.

Historically the Writ was issued, on Velum no less, by HM Excise for customs officials to use to bring coin to the privy purse and has remained in statute. Of course we can obtain warrants but hey - why when we have this little charmer?!

The Edit - the at night bit was, in the olden days, when baaad people obviously only did their wrong-doings at night.... The scoundrels.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1979/2/section/161

Edited by CustomsBod
Being a k**b and forgetting humour.

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