Struggling Home Office faces drug trafficker accusations

Reports that travel bans were not imposed on almost 150 drug traffickers end a week of bad news for the Home Office.

The reports come just one day after the Home Office published details of the UK borders bill which intends to “shake up the immigration system” with new legislation, including the introduction of biometric ID for non-EEA foreign nationals living in Britain.

According to the BBC, the Immigration and Passport Service failed to enforce the bans which were imposed by the courts on 147 drug traffickers.

Although the government has stressed that the vast majority in possession of such a ban are in jail, the BBC has reported that the whereabouts of 15 drug traffickers are still unknown and they may have travelled abroad.

A Home Office statement asserts that the government has “already made significant progress in reforming its immigration and asylum systems and boosting UK border controls”.

The new allegations come just days after home secretary John Reid wrote to magistrates and judges in England and Wales urging them to only send the most serious offenders to prison in an attempt to curb prison capacity problems.

Mr Reid, the attorney general and the lord chancellor wrote: “We should not be squandering taxpayers’ money to monitor non-dangerous and less serious offenders.”

The news caused scandal when two sex offenders were not jailed and the judges said they were following the Home Office advice.

Speaking of the events, shadow home secretary David Davis commented: “Yet again we see the public are being put at risk by the failure of ministers.”