A BBC report has put police handling of migrants back into the spotlight.
The report, which asked police forces around the UK “if they referred victims and witnesses of crime to the Home Office for immigration enforcement,” found that over half of the police forces (27 out of 45) who responded in fact did so. Only three (including Police Scotland) said they did not.
Such police action make vulnerable groups – including rape and abuse victims – reluctant to report crimes.
The BBC report includes heartbreaking case studies. It also suggests that the government’s priority of immigration enforcement over protection of victims of crime and violence has become standard practice.
The BBC investigation follows some horrendous stories last year – including one about a rape victim, five months pregnant, who reported her own trafficking and abuse to the police and was later arrested by immigration officers at a care centre for sexual assault victims.