Home Office admits 'losing' 37,000 migrants in Britain who have skipped bail or fled detention centres

THE Home Office has lost 37,000 migrants in Britain who have skipped bail or fled detention centres, it has been reported.

Official figures from the Home Office show they cannot trace thousands of people who have either skipped their immigration bail conditions or fled from detention centres.

The data was released under Freedom of Information laws as campaigners have called it a "shocking failure".

Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migration Watch UK, told the Mail on Sunday: "This is a shocking failure. It is ridiculous to intercept those crossing the Channel illegally or after they emerge from the back of lorries, only to turn them loose to disappear into the undergrowth of the shadow economy.

"It simply makes it easy for potential absconders.

"This gap in immigration control can easily be plugged with more effective enforcement and better use of detention. If only the political will were there to do it."

Some foreign citizens – including asylum seekers, those overstaying their visas and those caught illegally entering the UK – are meant to report to immigration centres or police stations if there are potential grounds to deport them.

The data shows that 37,302 foreign nationals living in the UK have disappeared over the past three decades up to the end of the September this year.

The majority were categorised as "in-country absconders" who either failed to keep in contact with officials or disappeared from detention centres.

Some 134 were categorised as "port absconders", meaning they evaded border controls without permission to enter the UK.

The total figure could be much higher because it does not include missing children and vulnerable adults.

It comes as more than 5,000 migrants have crossed the Channel in small boats and dinghies to enter Britain this year. But nine of them died before making shore.

In a historic pact, Priti Patel and her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin agreed to bolster patrols on beaches targeted by criminal gangs.

The number of officers guarding a 90-mile stretch of coastline will be doubled from this week.

And they will be backed by cutting-edge surveillance gear, including drones, radar, powerful binoculars and fixed cameras.

Britain will contribute up to £28 million to help pay for added security – but the final sum will be linked to results.

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