Immigration shake-up: Manchester centre for UK border control makes ‘excellent’ progress in spot check

By Steven Brown

Immigration and border control in the UK has made ‘excellent progress’ according to spot checks made this week – and Manchester’s centre showed the biggest improvement.

A random spot check at the Home Office’s Manchester Command and Control centre revealed that ‘significant improvements’ had been made since a previous visit.

The spot checks are part of a new initiative that was implemented in January to assess how areas of UK borders and immigration have changed, developed or improved since earlier inspections.

Manchester was involved in one of the first three spot checks to be carried out in the UK along with the Public Enquiry Office in Croydon and the East Midlands Reporting Centre.

The spot checks were carried out by the independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) John Vine CBE.

He said: “These spot-check visits are an efficient and valuable accompaniment to my formal inspection programme.

“They allow me to see for myself if improvements have been made.

“I am pleased to see evidence that the Home Office had acted upon my previous recommendation for these three business areas.”

The chief inspector was encouraged that the Manchester centre had developed a clearer idea of its purpose and made ‘significant improvements’.

Among the improvements made at all three centres was a ‘professionalism and enthusiasm’ that was manifested in a commitment to improve.

Despite all three centres receiving positive feedback Manchester was the only centre that did not receive any additional suggestions for improvements.

These inspections will allow the Chief Inspector to achieve a broader understanding of the UK’s border operations and drive improvement into the UK’s border and immigration functions.

In 2012, a survey was undertaken by the ICIBI to see how its work is gauged by stakeholders, resulting in a number of changes being made.

The 2013 survey has been launch today to measure the views of stakeholders and the members of the public on the last 12 months of work by the inspectorate.

“The ICIBI is dedicated to working closely with its stakeholders in raising awareness of our inspection reports and wider work,” the Chief Inspector said.

“We aim to use the results from this survey to improve the way we work and wherever possible ensure we are addressing the needs of our stakeholders.

“I would like to invite people to spare 10 minutes of their time to complete this survey and express my thanks in advance for doing so.”

Picture courtesy of Christopher Elison, with thanks.

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