§ Mr. Soames
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to remove illegal immigrants and overstayers over the last 12 months. 
§ Angela Eagle
[holding answer 7 February 2002]: We have taken a range of measures to apprehend and remove illegal entrants and overstayers. These include a substantial increase in the number of immigration officers engaged on removals work, an expansion of the detention estate, creation of additional immigration arrest teams, the development of a network of reporting centres and the use of chartered flights.
In line with the police service, the immigration service is embracing the National Intelligence Model as a disciplined tool for using intelligence to drive effective strategy in the delivery of our business objectives, including the removal of overstayers and illegal immigrants. Intelligence lies at the heart of business planning. It provides an accurate picture of the business, the nature and extent of the problems, trends and where the main threats lie.
The most recent published figures show that in the calendar year 2000 there were 8,370 persons removed from the United Kingdom after enforcement action had been initiated. This includes those persons who departed 904W voluntarily after enforcement action had been initiated against them, or who left under an Assisted Voluntary Return Programme.
Additionally, 38,275 persons were refused leave to enter at port and subsequently removed in 2000.