David Cameron urges people to report illegal immigrants


David Cameron: "I want everyone in the country to help with this"

Related Stories

UK Prime Minister David Cameron says he "wants everyone in the country" to help "reclaim our borders" by reporting suspected illegal immigrants.

In a speech setting out measures to tighten immigration rules, Mr Cameron said people should report suspicions to Crimestoppers and the UK Border Agency.

He also outlined plans to tackle forced and bogus marriages and for new rules for those wanting to settle in the UK.

"Together we will reclaim our borders and send illegal immigrants home."

Mr Cameron said: "If we take the steps set out today and deal with all the different avenues of migration, legal and illegal, then levels of immigration can return to where they were in the 1980s and 90s... a time when immigration was not a front rank political issue."

In his speech, the PM also said the government was to consult on making it a criminal offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to force a person to marry against their will.

'Little more than slavery'

Earlier this year the Home Office rejected the idea amid fears victims might be put off coming forward.

Mr Cameron announced plans to make it a criminal offence to breach orders imposed by the courts to prevent forced marriages taking place.

This already happens in Scotland.

Forced Marriage Protection Orders were introduced in 2008 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland under the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.

A potential victim, friend or police can apply for an order aimed at protecting an individual through the courts and anyone found to have breached one can be jailed for up to two years for contempt of court, although this is classed as a civil offence.

The prime minister wants that changed, as well as a re-examination of proposals to create a specific criminal offence covering the act of trying to force someone into marriage.

In his speech, Mr Cameron said: "Forced marriage is little more than slavery.

"To force someone into marriage is completely wrong and I strongly believe this is a problem we should not shy away from addressing because of some cultural concerns."

Last year, a unit set up to tackle the problem dealt with 1,700 cases, but many more are thought to have gone unreported.

Minimum income

The government says it is a breach of human rights to force someone to marry against their will for family advantage or to protect the perceived notion of a family's honour.

However, in July the Home Office dismissed calls by the home affairs committee to make it an offence as ministers said it would be hard to prove and could have a negative effect on victims.

Mr Cameron will now ask Home Secretary Theresa May to consult on criminalising forced marriage by working with support groups to ensure that such a move does not deter victims from coming forward.

David Cameron: "Forced marriage is little more than slavery"

Mr Cameron announced tougher visa rules to weed out "bogus" marriages and other immigration abuses.

He also called for relatives joining their families in the UK to speak English and have enough cash to live on - by setting a minimum income level the person bringing relatives in must earn.

He added that changes to the UK citizenship test were being planned to include questions about British history and culture.

Mr Cameron said the government wanted to prevent immigrants becoming a burden on the taxpayer and dependant on welfare, and is considering forcing some applicants to pay financial bonds.

He highlighted the changes already made to the points based system introduced by the previous Labour government, and promised further changes to ensure a "hard-headed selection of genuinely talented individuals based on our national interest".

The old system was "a system which was totally unfair... where migrants got the choice to come, rather than us having the choice of migrants".

'Who are they going to tell?'

The prime minister added: "Of course, in the modern world, where people travel and communicate more easily than ever before and where families have connections all across the globe, people do want to move to different countries to be with loved ones.

"We all understand this human instinct. But we need to make sure - for their sake as well as ours - that those who come through this route are genuinely coming for family reasons, that they can speak English, and that they have the resources they need to live here and make a contribution here - not just to scrape by, or worse, to subsist on benefit."

For Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "While David Cameron talks about getting tough on illegal immigration, he is undermining our border enforcement by cutting 5,000 staff from the UK Borders Agency. And where he talks about limiting work visas, these actually went up under the Government's immigration cap."

UK Independence Party home affairs spokesman Gerard Batten said: "It is all well and good asking the public to 'shop' illegal immigrants but who are they going tell? Police numbers are being significantly cut so I doubt they will have the resources to tackle it.

"Plus, over the next four years the UK Border Agency will see a reduction of just over a fifth of its personnel following a lack of funding."


More on This Story

Related Stories


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    Who is close enough to someone to suspect they are an illegal immigrant? Surely you'd have to know them pretty well, and therefore you're less likely report them? The majority of reports are likely to be unfounded, possibly racist, and it will waste money investigating them all. This simply won't work. And that's ignoring the fact that it's the worst solution to the problem anyway. Agree with 249.

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    @305 Fraz3375 - That arguement just go to show how useless the system is. Do you guys not take copies when they come in? All those "your passport please" scanning and copying of passports at the airport and all that - is that just window dressing? Please stop insulting our collective sense of reasoning. The UKBA is paid to police the borders it has woefully failed to do so!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    @321 GH3382

    You don't need to sign your name at the end. It's not a letter.

    But yes, BRILLIANT idea to give people £1000 per report. I'm sure it won't result in people reporting every non-white person they see in their neighbourhood to the authorities...

  • rate this

    Comment number 323.

    In my considerd opinion the proposals are too little too late .It's tantamount to shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted .

  • rate this

    Comment number 322.

    Roll out the STASI.Anyone the "wrong colour,accent or look"?We seem to be sinking further every day into a police state where even taking photos is a crime.Been there myself and these Public Schoolboy attitudes do nothing but appeal to the herd.
    If people were willing to do menial jobs illegal immigrants would be out of luck.
    What are these"borders"?The EU doesn't end at Dover.

  • rate this

    Comment number 321.

    I think its time to close the borders no matter who you are or why you want to be here.Our problem is not just non european countries. the bigger the europe union the bigger the problem. As for illegals I am sure a £1000 a person if you shop one will help get them sorted.
    Good to see today that forced marriages are to be banned but then again female circumcision is but it still goes on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 320.

    There is a massive difference between forced marriage, where a person does not give consent to the marriage, and an arranged marriage, where the process of picking the spouse is not just down to the other party, but to a wider circle of family and others,after which the bride/groom, after meeting the other person several times, willingly agrees. The royal family have only just ditched this system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 319.

    Although the left are intent on brandishing their 'race' cards on HYS accusing the government of racism - the simple fact is that illegal immigrants are committing a crime. Furthermore they undermine the efforts of migrants who make proper application for residency and stigmatizes those who are genuine asylum seekers.
    Cameron's call to reclaim our borders is however just not sensible or workable!

  • Comment number 318.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 317.

    We lost control years ago when we allowed anyone from EU countries to come here and take jobs, claim benefirts, use our NHS, schools etc etc"

    apart from the fact we are not members of Schengen, why would anyone come here for those things when the benefits are much greater in other EU states and the health care and education also considerably better than in the UK? Even the jobs pay more.

  • rate this

    Comment number 316.

    Cameron - "Together we will reclaim our borders and send illegal immigrants home."

    Thing is, when police catch many, they are just released back onto UK streets with many escaping ejection from UK. They know that if the police/immigration do not find their passport, they cannot be sent back without creating huge extra admin time & expense & limited holding capacity

  • rate this

    Comment number 315.

    Oh dear. Somebody's had my original - mildly humerous I thought - comment removed. Probably on the grounds that it might offend some sensitive soul. I'm "werrittably" seething!! There's one thing for certain I can't have upset them as much as they upset me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 314.

    We are constantly being told that immigration has been a good thing, but for whom? The farm, food and building industries might gain by it and with the bulk of their wages sent back to relatives in their homeland this country as a whole stands to gain very little from it all. Just how many £millions leave this country every week? Money that will never ever be spent here. But I digress.

  • rate this

    Comment number 313.

    We need the current border agents to do their job properly and efficiently then there would be a lot less illegals in the country. I and my wife know to many illegals and they get all the goverment benerfit going whilst me out of work for the first time in 45 years get nothing this can't be right. No holding camps straight on the first plain the entire family even kids born here should go.

  • rate this

    Comment number 312.

    @ 281 Jay Teapot. Well, I guess its the system. I don't see how we can blame these economic migrants for taking advantage of a system that doesn't work. Perhaps before we try and fix illegal immigration, lets fix the legal kind first.
    Never going to happen though, just look at America and the Mexicans; they will soon be overun with illegals and their drugs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 311.

    Yes, the French have huge problems with illegal British immigrants. And the British terrorist threat"

    Well, they do place burdens on the local health services, housing, jobs and other services which are the usual arguments you use against immigrants.

  • rate this

    Comment number 310.

    Abolish the Human Rights Act? Already people have been detained without charge in Belmarsh prison, the Borders Agency makes dawn raids and herds people, including children, into camps in impossible conditions, and rides roughshod over vulnerable people. There seem to be ways and means of getting round the Act as it is, including deporting people at real risk of torture and death. Not good.

  • rate this

    Comment number 309.

    Someone high up in government is speaking out of his ass i suppose. When is the next general election please? Is there a way we can pass a vote of no c onfidence on this government?

    PM and his crew are clueless on how to sort out the economy!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 308.

    I wonder how long until someone suspectsd my wife? Thankfully she has her naturalisation certificate, so she'll be alright.....won't she?
    There needs to be a more holistic approach, rather than the Stalin/Hitler tactic of "tell on your family, your neighbours, your friends". If illegal, they're not taking money from the system, so give them points toward citzenship. It's the scoungers have to go

  • rate this

    Comment number 307.

    What's this rubbish the PM says about reclaiming control of our borders? We lost control years ago when we allowed anyone from EU countries to come here and take jobs, claim benefirts, use our NHS, schools etc etc.We can't take control as we gave it up; legally.What planet is he on?!


Page 27 of 43


More Politics stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.