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Sunday, January 29, 2023

U.K. Seeks Industry Views on Tougher Penalties to Tackle Illegal Migration

The U.K. government has launched an industry consultation on proposals for tougher penalties to tackle illegal migration. 

As part of the continued fight against illegal migration and the criminal gangs behind it, changes to the existing clandestine entrant civil penalties scheme will be made through the Nationality and Borders Act. These include increasing the maximum penalty for hauliers and vehicle drivers who are found carrying a clandestine entrant and introducing a new civil penalty for failing to adequately secure a goods vehicle, regardless of whether a clandestine entrant has been found. 

Since 2020, the number of clandestine entrants coming to the U.K. via HGV and goods vehicles has continued to increase year on year. During the financial year 2020-2021, there were 3,145 incidents where clandestine entrants were detected concealed in vehicles, despite the Covid-19 pandemic causing a lower volume of traffic. This rose to 3,838 incidents during the financial year 2021-2022.

Ahead of implementation, the government is seeking the views of vehicle drivers, companies and other interested parties on all these new measures. The consultation with the industry will run for eight weeks and will close on 12 September 2022. Alongside the consultation, the Home Office will be running a series of engagement events to explore these issues in more detail.

“Criminal gangs who risk the lives of desperate people for profit are taking advantage of those whose vehicles travel in and out of the country,” Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Simon Baynes MP said. “Far too many vehicles are currently not adequately secured, and we will seek to increase penalties on those who are negligent and prosecute those who are complicit.”

Read the consultation document at the U.K. government

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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