'Go Home Or Get Arrested' Bus Banned

Chiswick was listed as centre for detaining illegal immigrants


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The Advertising Standards Authority has said the Home Office billboard, pasted on the side of vans driven through Hounslow, Ealing and other boroughs in July, was misleading. 

The advert said there had been 106 arrests in the area in the past week but the ASA said the reference to the number of arrests was misleading because it didn't relate to those detained in the specific areas where people would have seen the vans.

Chiswick Police station was listed as one of a number of centres where immigration officials could interview suspects but we were unable to find out if any illegal immigrants had been detained locally while the vans were operating. During a speech on the issue in the House of Lords, Lord Taylor of Holbeach (Cons) said that the relevant police custody suites were Acton, Chiswick, Colindale, Fresh Wharf, Hounslow, Ilford and Wembley.

"The 106 arrests referred to on the AdVans include arrests for immigration offences made in the Metropolitan Police custody suites of the six pilot boroughs and the work of the West, North and East London Immigration Compliance and Enforcement (ICE) team. It should be noted that this figure of 106 arrests reflected a typical week and was not significantly higher than usual. The number of arrests on the AdVans does not include those refused entry at port or those arrested at Heathrow airport."

The Advertising Standards Authority said that the ad "must not appear again in its current form,". But the Authority cleared the campaign of being offensive and irresponsible.

Hounslow was one of six boroughs used in the Home Office trial to 'encourage' illegal immigrants to leave the UK. Last July two vans displaying large messages drove around six boroughs: Hounslow, Barking & Dagenham, Ealing, Barnet, Brent and Redbridge.

The areas were chosen because they have either significantly higher or below average numbers of voluntary returns - meaning that the success of the pilot can be assessed.

Material was also distributed where illegal migrants were known to frequent, including newsagents, money transfer shops and internet cafes.

October 11, 2013

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