Challenges Facing Policing of Illegal Immigrants in the UK
The chapter elaborates on the findings of the interview on the various police officers on the impact of globalisation on policing on illegal immigration. The interview reveals the challenges of enforcement officers in the United Kingdom (UK) face in policing over illegal immigration. The chapter elaborates on the factors influencing poor policing, discusses the challenges of policing illegal immigration, and provides critical discussions and solutions to rein on the problem.
Challenges Facing Policing of Illegal Immigrants in the UK
5.2 Qualifying Factors
The research found out that the number of illegal immigrants has increased in the last 30 years. The surge in illegal immigrants began after the European Union (EU) relaxed rules on the exit of illegal immigrants. The order led to laxity in the control of entry and exits into the EU (Triandafyllidou, and Gropas, 2016, pp. 12). Thus governments were unable to quantify the number of immigrants in the country. Similarly, based on humanitarian reasons such as refugees and asylum seekers, the influx of the groups into the UK, has further made the issue (illegal migration) complex (Geddes, and Scholten, 2016, pp. 23). Recently, the UK government intimated that illegal immigrants are using crude ways to enter the nation, through lorries, boats, or as victims of human trafficking.
Table 1.0 Illegal Migration in the UK
The rise in illegal immigration in the UK has resulted to concerns over racism, over-policing of migrant communities, and the rise in crime rates among immigrants due to lack of employment opportunities (Wadsworth, Dhingra, Ottaviano, and Van Reenen, 2016, pp. 38). The immigration department recently released details on the diversity of immigrants into the UK, which reveals a mix of European and non-European visitors entering the nation illegally.
Table 1.1 Mix of Immigrants in the UK
Migrants in the UK since 2011 has primarily been from African, Central and Southern American citizens. The immigrants migrate to the UK in search of better opportunities. However, some legal migrants invite their relatives into the UK, increasing the number of undocumented immigrants in the nation (Dauvergne, 2017, pp. 90). Invariably, the rise in immigration rates in the nation has also led to the rise in crime rates in the nation.
Table 1.2 Crime Rates in the UK
The research found relationships existing between the rise in illegal immigrants in the UK and the rise in crime rates. Manchester, Boston, Middlesbrough, Leeds, and Hull are some of the towns with high crime rates and a high number of immigrants.
5.3.1 Language Barrier
Language barriers are the most common form of challenges affecting policing over illegal immigrants. The current mix of illegal immigrants in the nation is diversified, with each ethnic speaking different ethnic languages (Julio, 2017, pp. 30). African communities speak different languages, making it complicated for enforcement officers to police over them. All of the interviewed persons confined that language barriers impacted negatively on their duties. Language barriers affect the investigation of illegal immigration, especially since some immigrants are victims of human trafficking (Cockbain, and Brayley-Morris, 2017, pp. 140). The results relate to preliminary studies indicating the language barriers impede proper policing of illegal immigration.
Table 1.3 Common Foreign Languages among Immigrants in the UK
The diversity of languages has influenced the implementation of policing interventions to curb illegal immigration. The police department is unable to acquire specific interpreters for rare languages such as Somali or Swahili (Ginsburgh, and Prieto-Rodriguez, 2011, pp. 609). Language barriers influence the poor implementation of interventions to police illegal immigration in the nation.
5.4.1 Inadequate Training, Knowledge and Understanding
The police department lacks the requisite skills to curb illegal immigration. The research study confirms that the changing scope of globalisation requires sophisticated skills among the police to ensure proper policing of the vice. Data mining, psychoanalysis, crime detection, cybersecurity, and employment of more women into the department (Wilson, and Powell, 2012, pp 23). The rise and emergence of social media as a source of information for both legal and illegal activities requires police officers to understand its application. Data mining skills in social networks are becoming crucial in understanding migration trends. Similarly, cyber security informs of the increased attempts by illegal immigrants especially from Asian communities seeking to get British passports fraudulently. The study found out that the attempts were many though no official results exist on successful fraudulent applications (Salter, 2003, pp. 28). Furthermore, the complex nature of behaviour among foreigners requires officers having psychoanalytic skills to understand the complex nature of illegal immigration. The study confirms that women (illegal immigrants) easily stay off the radar of police; thus the employment of more women will improve efficiency in policing illegal migration among women and children (Gedalof, 2007, pp. 90).
5.5.1 Inadequate Resources and Duplication of Roles
The study confirmed that police have inadequate resources to fight illegal immigration. The police department progressively faces a broader scope of functions unlike in the past. However, police budgetary allocations have dwindled in the past decade, straining police functions. Reduction in budgetary allocations in 2011 led to early or forceful retirement of over 2000 police officers from the department (Blackmore, 2010, pp. 1). The study confirmed that the police focus more on crime prevention and are likely to neglect to police over illegal immigration. Similarly, other bodies such as UK Border Agency and Immigration Services also police illegal immigration, leading to duplication of roles and ambiguity in the implementation of the roles (Press Association, 2012, pp. 1).
Table 1.4 Police Funding
Spending on police functions has primarily been stagnant even with the enlargement of their mandate. Lower budgetary allocations have forced the police to reduce their role in illegal immigration. The reduced funding has reduced their workforce. The rise in crime in the UK has forced the police to focus on their core mandate. The study confirms that duplication of roles adversely affects policing functions among the different bodies. Furthermore, police have limited jurisdiction over illegal immigrants and rely on other bodies after the apprehension of illegal immigrants.
5.6.1 Unclear Approaches on Policing Illegal Immigration
The study confirms that the police have no clear approach to policing illegal immigration. The approaches used are ad-hoc and individual among different police officers. The interviewees indicated that the police force has no strategy to police illegal immigration. Most of the incidences are primarily based on chance, reports from health facilities or tip-offs from the public. The lack of strategy makes it difficult for the police to evaluate over time, progress or failures in their methods (Boswel, 2003, pp. 630). The study confirmed that the lack of strategy in the police department resulted in under-reporting of illegal immigration incidences. The lack of strategies to net illegal immigrants contributed to low recorded reports on illegal immigrants. However, it is also evident that lower incidences of illegal immigration portray a right image of the force, influencing policy decisions to ignore illegal immigration.
5.7.1 Bad Media Reports and Poor Public Perception
The study confirms that wrong media reports and poor public perception of the police have curtailed police functions. The media focuses on highly divisive news, which paints the police in a bad light. The study confirmed that for the last decade the media had solely focused on failures and negated the successes of the police force. The bad publicity has resulted in the formation of poor attitudes against the police. Surveys conducted among the public reveal that half of the public dislike the police force. The negative attitude has resulted in the rise of accusations in racism against the police (Blackmore, 2014, pp. 1). The infusion of racism has curtailed police functions, especially among the immigrant community.
The discussion brings to the fore the teething challenges the enforcement officers face while policing illegal migration. The recommendations apply to the government, media, police department, parliament, and civil society groups. The government needs to conduct research on the funding gap in the police department and address the challenge of inadequate funding through a mix of funding options. The government needs to partner with private enterprise to provide training and technological tools to adequately police illegal migration. Further budgetary allocations are required to employ experts in cybercrime, psychologists, data analysts and women into the force. Furthermore, the police department should employ immigrants within its ranks to bridge the language and cultural barrier. The police department ought to establish a media department to communicate their policies and successes in fighting illegal immigration. The use of social media will improve the current bad publicity of the police department. Partnerships among different bodies need to be properly coordinated to ensure all clear roles in the fight against illegal immigration. Proper division of roles reduces duplication of roles among different government authorities. The police department must establish a thinktank to collect and research on illegal immigration trends while providing strategies to combat illegal immigration (Skogan, 2004, pp. 23).
The research elaborates on the significant challenges affecting the police department in policing illegal immigration. The research confirms that fundamental challenges are needed to enhance the success of the police interventions in curbing illegal migration. The research confirms that the police face adverse impacts in policing illegal immigration due to globalisation. Consequently, the recommendations will resolve the current problem.
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