BORDER SECURITY: We thought we were joking when we said that pretty much anyone could just wander into Britain. None of us seriously thought it was true. But sadly it turns out that our border controls have been lax for years.
British registered coaches were not checked as they should have been. This is a real worry. It's not just the concern that bogus asylum seekers might break into Britain. The bigger worry is that terrorists and people who would like to destroy our way of life could get in as well.
We need urgently to make sure that the border at Dover and Calais is made secure. Then we need to find out who authorised this secret weakening of our borders in 2007. Was it just the top brass at UKBA? Did Ministers in the then Labour Government know or authorise this? If so which Minister and when?
We also need to be frank about what good border control looks like. If you are searching for a needle in a haystack, do you check every straw? Or do you use your experience and intelligence to find it? I think there is a lot to be said for using intelligence and experience. It's a more efficient use of resources and you are more likely to find the needle. The frontline border officers do a brilliant job. They have deep experience, are patriotic and they can be trusted to do the job brilliantly.
So looking at the Home Secretary's border control pilot there is a case to say you should rely on the experience of our local border officers. There is a case to say that using intelligence received is a good way to target the bad guys. Moreover the figures appear to back this up as the number of illegals caught this year have risen some 10%.
The other major concern I have is that business interests should not come before the security of the nation and of our borders. There is evidence that port authorities and airport operators have bullied UKBA to avoid queues and wave people through. That is not acceptable.
It's not just about passports. Lorries need to be checked too. There is a plan for the number of lorry checking bays at Dover to be reduced. Apparently this is under pressure from the Harbour Board. That is not acceptable. We need to see lorries properly checked. We need to see our border officers have the space to operate in they need. Border security is more important than commercial interests.
We need to ensure our borders are secure. We must keep our nation safe from her enemies. This is an essential duty of Government. One I mean to see carried out effectively and in a way that gives us all confidence.
People in Dover speak time and again about their overriding concern for the safety and security of our borders and the security of our nation. Charlie Elphicke stands with us in wanting to keep our country safe.
Living in the Gateway to England, Dover people know first hand how the previous Labour Government totally failed to keep our borders secure. We know all about the disgusting human trafficking that goes on, the bogus asylum seekers and the evil crime syndicates that smuggle people in who have no right to be here.
We also know all too well that Labour did nothing about it and lost control of our borders. Here is the reality of the Government's disgraceful failure to keep our nation and borders safe and secure:
- 577,000 people came to Britain in 2007 - and net migration was 237,000
- The population has risen 1.8 million since 1997 thanks to immigration alone - There were 25,800 asylum applications in the 12 months to September 2008, a rise of 15% on the year before
- To cope with all this, some 65,000 new homes are needed each year, meaning even more concrete and congestion along with increasing pressure on our public services
And while they fail to stop people coming to Britain that have no right to be here, we know that locally they arrest illegal entrants who try to leave the country. At the Dover Removal Centre, they give bail to people who are being held . . . people who then, surprise, surprise, vanish and are never seen again.
Charlie Elphicke believes in proper border security and wants to ensure the safety and security of our nation for the long term. It's great that illegal entries at Dover have fallen 80% lately. Charlie is working hard to protect our UKBA workers from being fired in line with the plans Labour left behind when they were voted out.
Policing and crime
"Law and Order is in Meltdown" These were the words of Gordon Brown's security adviser, ex-Met boss Lord Stevens. Stevens said under Labour "The rules of the jungle now prevail. Law and order is in meltdown".It's a real worry. Here are the facts:
1,046,437 violent crimes, doubled from 502,778 in 1998 1,773 people were victims of local violent crime in 2005/2006 Gun crime doubled to 11,084, up from 5,209 in 1998 Police can't go on the beat because they're tied up filling in forms £20 Billion to be wasted on ID cards that won't make us any safer
So David Cameron and the Conservatives launched a long-term Crime Action Plan. The key measures are:
- Make families stronger - keeping families together so children have a stable upbringing
- Support teachers to teach children the need for respect and bringing more good schools into deprived communities - for example, the Astor Federation has turned the failing St Radigunds School into the successful White Cliffs Primary
- Help young people to come off welfare and into work - Work brings responsibility, dignity, money and respect - making people less likely to commit crime
- A National Citizens Service - where all 16-year-olds can go on a six-week programme to develop the confidence and skills to contribute to society
- Tough enforcement and prison sentences for young people caught carrying illegal knives, whilst also working to rehabilitate young offenders.
Charlie Elphicke thinks we should have more Police on the streets. That we should introduce zero tolerance policing. We need a border Police to stop drugs, gun running and people trafficking. We should help parents to take control and give greater support to teachers