A leaked Home Office document obtained by the Times (of London) is causing a stir throughout the United Kingdom because it reveals government plans to hire private security guards to surveil on illegal migrants.
According to the Times:
The security guards will take part in “reconnaissance” missions to find suspected foreign criminals, illegal migrants and failed asylum seekers, targeted for arrest and deportation.
They will be given access to sensitive police intelligence on suspected illegal immigrants, and help to draw up intelligence reports and risk assessments, according to the document prepared by the Border and Immigration Agency.
Private security firms, the paper reports, do not have the legal authority to conduct surveillance or make arrests. Upon hearing of the government's plan, critics accused the government of trying to privatize the criminal justice system.
But Liam Byrne, an immigration minister, stood behind the effort. “We will not hesitate to use every means possible to track down illegal migrants,” he said.
Last month, the government handed out a pilot contract to Serco, a security company, to do reconnaissance on the homes of suspected illegal aliens.