Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


The BBC's Geeta Guru-Murthy
"Refugee groups say the government has caved in to xenophobia"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Asylum seekers clampdown
asylum begging
Asylum seekers must desist from begging, says Straw
Asylum seekers found begging will have their claims fast tracked, the Home Office has confirmed.

When police pick up asylum seekers for begging, Immigration officials will be contacted immediately and they will carry out an interview as a priority.

The Home Office said asylum seekers will be given five days to make their case before an initial decision.

They will then be given a further four weeks to appeal.

Whether they are detained during this time will depend on the usual criteria, for example if they are thought likely to abscond.
asylum beging
Begging asylum seekers are priority cases
Home Secretary Jack Straw said asylum seekers should not get involved in practices such as aggressive begging.

"I agree that we need to treat asylum seekers, founded and unfounded, in a decent civilised way. We need to be careful about language," Mr Straw said.

"But I also say that asylum seekers themselves do have a responsibility to recognise that they are coming to a civilised country and they have duties in terms of their own behaviour."

Immigration Minister Barbara Roche also revealed freight trains were the latest route to be exploited by organised gangs of "people smugglers".

But asylum seekers were risking death trying to enter the UK on freight trains, highlighted by the death of two Romanians who were electrocuted, she said.

Electrocuted

Last year more than 800 asylum seekers were detected in railway wagons.

At least two died en route when they tried to break out of the carriages and were electrocuted by overhead wires.

The asylum seekers mainly from Romania are smuggled aboard trains in northern Italy. Officials said 834 people were discovered in freight containers last year but it is estimated that up to 2,500 illegal immigrants used the railways as a route into the UK.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

02 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Asylum vouchers spark protests
29 Mar 00 | Scotland
More asylum seekers head north
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories