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Arrests from e-borders pilot pass 1,000

Bang-up job

Alerts issued by the Joint Border Operations Centre (JBOC) have resulted in more than 1,000 arrests.

The Home Office said the JBOC, set up in January 2005 to fight illegal immigration, terrorism and other crimes, has issued 12,044 alerts to relevant agencies, resulting in 1,047 arrests and other interventions.

Information supplied to carriers is collected before people board flights and sent on to UK Border Control. Their details can then be checked against watch lists and the databases of the Border Immigration Agency, the police and HM Revenue and Customs.

A Home Office spokesperson told GC News airlines could choose when to provide the information, for example at check-in or when a ticket is purchased. He added: "The information sent across has to be sufficient to positively identify a person. It would include travel document information such as name, date of birth, nationality, document type, gender, date of issue, and date of expiry."

In most instances, agencies will decide to take action once someone lands. However, in certain cases such as terrorism, passengers will be detained before they board.

Some 56 carriers have signed up to the scheme, which is part of the e-borders pilot Project Semaphore. Information is captured at 99 non-UK arrival or departure points and more than 27 million passenger journeys have been monitored since the scheme began.

The JBOC now also collects data from some maritime carriers, such as ferry operators and cruise liners.

This month, alerts resulted in a murder suspect being detained at Heathrow and the location of a hostile witness in a kidnap case leaving the UK before trial.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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