The UK Government have launched a consultation on a suitable civil penalties to tackle illegal migration.
During the financial year 2020-2021, there were 3,145 incidents where clandestine entrants were detected concealed in vehicles, which rose to 3,838 incidents during the financial year 2021-2022. The government is therefore concerned that the current Scheme is not having enough of an effect.
It is for this reason that the government committed to review and overhaul the Scheme as part of its New Plan for Immigration. A public consultation on the New Plan for Immigration was held from 24 March to 6 May 2021. The government then introduced changes to the Scheme through the new Nationality and Borders Act 2022.
The 2022 Act introduces a new civil penalty for failing to adequately secure a goods vehicle, regardless of whether a clandestine entrant has been found. The Secretary of State will also make regulations which set out what is meant by a goods vehicle being adequately secure and the required vehicle security standards that will determine whether liability arises under this new offence. These may include vehicle checks, reporting unauthorised access and retaining records to demonstrate steps taken.
The consultation closes on the 12th September.
For further information the consultation, that you may wish to respond to with your experience / comments can be located at this UK Government New consultation on civil penalties to tackle illegal migration page.
The consultation is aimed at:
- Anyone who drives a vehicle which is going to enter the UK, including private drivers and commercial drivers
- Anyone who is the owner or hirer of a vehicle which is going to enter the UK
- Anyone who is the owner, hirer or operator of a detached trailer which is going to enter the UK
- Anyone who is interested in the Clandestine Entrant Civil Penalty Scheme
- Anyone in the UK and at international drivers and businesses