X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Border Force ‘neglecting duties’ and ‘weakening’ security – MPs

10 December 2013

8:15 AM

10 December 2013

8:15 AM

Is the Border Force fit for purpose? At one point it became a model for reform with ministers arguing that its performance had improved significantly since it was split from UKBA in March 2012 into a separate law enforcement body. But today the Public Accounts Committee suggests the Border Force isn’t quite fighting fit: more puffing at the back of the line and a bit paunchy. The PAC’s report points to weakened security at the border as the Border Force is forced to prioritise passenger checks over checking freight for illicit goods or illegal immigrants, gaps in intelligence on those coming into the country, and ‘inadequate IT systems’. It has missed eight of its 19 targets for seizure and detection targets, and the committee demanded that the Force ‘set out how it will ensure that it delivers its full range of duties across all ports to provide the required level of security’.

Now, few people reading the report this morning will be spilling their breakfast cereal in surprise that our borders aren’t being manned as well as they should. But there’s one point worth considering from the report that has a wider political significance. The report points to ‘limited resources’, particularly increasingly limited resources at the Force’s disposal as a result of Spending Review cuts. This could be used by a Home Secretary, current or future, to argue that their budget has been sliced enough already – and don’t forget that last week George Osborne announced that he wants an additional £1bn of savings a year for the next three years. But just in case a minister is tempted to make this argument, it’s worth bearing in mind that the PAC seems to think that the Border Force still has scope to improve the way it works. The report says:

‘To balance its books the Border Force will be increasingly reliant on achieving greater workforce flexibility and little progress had been made in recent years, with 40% of staff at Heathrow still on inflexible work contracts. The Border Force will also need to make better use of technical advances, such as more and improved automatic clearance gates at the border.

‘The Border Force must demonstrate through effective, realistic planning that it can deliver its workload within the resources available.’

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close