Victims of crime and immigration enforcement

Meeting: 
MQT on 2018-06-21
Session date: 
June 21, 2018
Reference: 
2018/1558
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

There are worrying reports that more than half of UK police forces are handing over victims of crime to the Home Office for immigration enforcement, creating fears that this approach is stopping vulnerable people - including rape victims - reporting crimes, and playing into the hands of traffickers. What is the Met's approach to this; and what advice would you give to victims of crime who may be undocumented migrants as to reporting the crime?

Answer

Answer for Victims of crime and immigration enforcement

Answer for Victims of crime and immigration enforcement

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am committed to ensuring the needs of victims at the heart of everything the criminal justice service does. Of foremost importance to us all is that victims feel able to come forward to report crime; I have and will continue challenge any actions taken by partners that may deter victims from coming forward in future.

In respect of the immigration status of some victims, the Police are required by law to share information they become aware of with the Home Office. The National Police Chief Council has provided some additional guidance to police forces explaining the extent of their discretion in carrying out an arrest in these circumstances. Sharing of information by the MPS with the Home Office is assessed on a case by case basis and will only occur where Police have a genuine concern that an individual is here illegally. When and how Police arrest someone is dependent on a number of factors, including their vulnerability and risk to public, this assessment is carried out on a case by case basis. The police primary focus is always the needs of the victim above other considerations.  When someone reports a crime, police role is to investigate that matter and bring any offenders to justice. 

I am aware there have been arrests made to victims of crime and the Victims Commissioner for London, Claire Waxman, is leading the way on this issue and has convened a second roundtable with Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden recently on safe routes to reporting crime.   Statutory partners and partners who directly support migrant groups and specialist women organisations came together to address these very problems and there was agreement from partners to tackle and resolve these very issues so we can ensure that victims have the confidence that when they report they will be safe and treated with dignity.  I look forward to supporting the Victims Commissioner in taking forward the action and learning from that roundtable.