LBW

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

UK KICKS-OFF EXIT PASSPORT CHECKS TODAY!

The U.K. government will reinstate exit checks to track suspected criminals and terrorists trying to leave the United Kingdom, the Home Office announced on its website in a statement Sunday.



The exit checks, which were scrapped by the previous Labour government, will come into effect on April 8, 2015.

"The exit checks will improve national security by helping the police and security services track the movements of known or suspected criminals and terrorists, supporting the wider work across government and law enforcement agencies," the statement said.



The checks will take place on commercial international air, sea and rail routes for passengers leaving the country. Information will be collected on passengers' passports and other travel documents.

The information collected will be transmitted to the Home Office and will provide the U.K. with the "ability to identify and further tighten the immigration routes and visas that are most vulnerable."

"The checks will also improve security by helping the police and security services track the movements of known or suspected criminals and terrorists, supporting the wider work across government and our law enforcement agencies," according to the statement.

Exemption from checks

School coach parties of European Economic Area children under 16 years old will be exempt from checks.

According to the statement, alternative arrangements separate from exit checks, are being put in place to cover: journeys made within the Common Travel Area -- journeys between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man -- small, non-scheduled flights and non-commercial recreational boats.

Minister for Security and Immigration James Brokenshire said the U.K.'s "commitment to reintroduce exit checks will make us more secure and better informed than ever."

More than 100 million people enter and leave the U.K. every year. Net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 298,000 in the year ending September 2014, a statistically significant increase from 210,000 in the previous 12 months, but below the peak of 320,000 in the year ending June 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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