Priti Patel to deport homeless people who engage in 'low level' crimes

Priti Patel plans to deport homeless people who persistently engage in ‘low level’ crimes such as drug-pushing and ‘dangerous behaviour’

  • Priti Patel will deport the homeless who repeatedly engage in low level crimes
  • Powers would be used ‘sparingly’ and after individuals refused other measures
  • Ms Patel reportedly wrote to Ministers on Friday to inform them of the plans 

Priti Patel will deport the homeless who repeatedly engage in low level crimes under proposals being discussed by Ministers, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The Home Secretary has drawn up plans to change immigration rules to make it easier to send rough sleepers who engage in ‘persistent anti-social or dangerous behaviour’ back to the countries they came from.

It is understood Ms Patel wrote to Ministers on Friday to inform them of the plans.

The measures would be targeted at homeless people who regularly engage in ‘low level crimes, including drug pushing and ‘dangerous behaviour’, a source said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has drawn up plans to change immigration rules to make it easier to deport rough sleepers who engage in ‘persistent anti-social or dangerous behaviour’

The new powers would be used ‘sparingly’ and after the individuals have refused other measures, they added.

Rough sleepers who regularly come to the attention of police and who refuse all offers of help would also face deportation.

Ms Patel is understood to be using the measures to take aim at gangs that have people living on the streets in commuter towns.

However repeated failures by the Home Office to deport people make it unclear whether the proposals will have an effect even if they go ahead.

Only 76 migrants have been deported after crossing the Channel since April, according to the Home Office.

More than 9,000 asylum seekers are living in 91 hotels across the country after a record-high year for Channel crossings, MPs were told last week.

Speaking to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Home Office officials said 9,500 people have been put up in hotels in cities including Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow amid a shortage of permanent accommodation while they wait for their claims to be processed.

Ms Patel used her speech at the Conservative Party conference last week to announce the biggest overhaul of the ‘broken’ asylum system in decades.

She said: ‘Those defending the broken system, the traffickers, the do-gooders, the Leftie lawyers, the Labour Party, they are defending the indefensible.

‘Our broken system is enabling this international criminal trade. It is disregarding the most vulnerable, elbowing women and children in need to the side.’

Rough sleepers who regularly come to the attention of police and who refuse all offers of help would also face deportation under the measures (file photo)

The Home Secretary will introduce a ‘fair borders Bill’ designed to stop people drawing out the asylum process by making them declare all grounds for refugee status when they apply. 

Last month, it emerged that the Government even considered processing asylum claims on remote islands in the South Atlantic including Ascension and St Helena, where Napoleon was exiled.

Andrew Gwynne, who sits on the Home Affairs committee, said: ‘There has been a long-term policy dating back to the Labour government of deporting foreign criminals and them using their right to stay in the UK.

‘There is a big difference between organised crime and low level crime, and we need to make sure the Government does not abuse any rules.

‘But the message is clear – if you are here and you commit crimes, I think it’s right that the Government can review your immigration status.’

The Home Office was approached for comment.

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