HL Deb 08 February 1974 vol 349 cc935-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

  1. (i) How many private dwellings have been entered by police officers since the coming into force of the Immigration Act 1971, for the purpose of finding illegal immigrants;
  2. (ii) In how many cases the police officers carried warrants;
  3. (iii) In all cases where warrants were not carried, who authorised the entry or search of private dwellings and under what Act of Parliament;
  4. (iv) Whether it is true that some police searches of private dwellings have been made which did not comply with section 24(2) of the 1971 Immigration Act; and, if so, what steps are being taken to prevent future non-compliance;
  5. (v) In how many cases the Home Office has refused to remove conditions 936 of residence applying to Commonwealth citizens who had completed five years residence in the United Kingdom before January 1, 1973 (who were thus "ordinarily resident"), and with what justification.


The information asked for under heads (i) and (ii) is not available centrally, and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.

For entry to premises without a warrant, the consent of the occupier would be required.

I assume that under head (iv) the noble Lord has in mind paragraph 17(2) of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has no reason to believe that the police are purporting to act under that paragraph without complying with its provisions: If the noble Lord believes that such cases have occurred, I should be grateful if he would let me have details.

I regret that Home Office statistics are not maintained in such a way as to enable me to answer the last part of the noble Lord's Question.