Documents from the U.K. Home Office show that between 2020 and 2022, police reported 2,546 women and children to immigration authorities. Women and children who are victims of crimes such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, adult sexual exploitation, human trafficking and modern slavery.
The Guardian reports that another document marked as ‘sensitive’ reports that roughly 25% of victims who were reported were later served with enforcement documents.
This policy is failing victims of abuse and exploitation, creating an environment that discourages victims from reporting abuse to the authorities for fear of risking retaliation from immigration authorities. Abusers like David Carrick, a serving Metropolitan police officer and serial rapist, reportedly threatened a victim with reporting her to immigration enforcement if she told authorities about his crimes.
Horrific examples like these demonstrate the harm being caused to victims of abuse who are not only exploited in the first instance but then face revictimization at the hands of immigration enforcement.
The practice shows little signs of slowing down, even after a call was made to end it in 2020 by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.
Discouraged from reporting trafficking
Southall Black Sisters, based in west London, said the cases they had seen included a woman who escaped female genital mutilation in Nigeria, fled and came to live with a relative in the in the UK only to be kept prisoner in the house. Her visa expired, and she became an overstayer and her wish to escape the abuse was thwarted because she was too scared to call the police, fearing she may be deported.
The U.K.’s largest police force, the Metropolitan Police, made 460 referrals of crime victims to immigration enforcement, followed by 207 referrals from Police Scotland. Senior sources within the police cite the reason as officers feeling pressure from the government to “clamp down on immigration”.
This is the latest example of how the government’s reckless approach to immigration is destroying protections for the most vulnerable and creating an environment where exploitation, abuse and trafficking can thrive.
Demand safe migration for all NOW!
Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.
Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.
A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.
This is a difficult one. We completely agree with Freedom United’s aims usually but I’m surprised you can’t find a less moot example. In the only example you give, a consequence of your wishes would be that every female in Nigeria (and other countries with medieval cultures) is welcome in the UK, a country whose poorest and suffering have had SEVEN MILLION EU migrants forced upon them in just a few years, into an already overcrowded, small country, without a by your leave or even being informed