Immigration chiefs have been accused of using ‘heavy handed’ and ‘intimidating’ tactics against anybody who looks Australian or New Zealand-ish during anti-immigration operations carried out across London recently.
The criticism comes after immigration officers targeting illegal immigrants stopped and questioned any passengers who were tall and suntanned with long shaggy blond hair and wearing surfer shorts at tube stations in several London boroughs.
However, according to several witnesses the officers were aggressive, intimidating and were specifically targeting individuals who had corks hanging from their hats.
Kensal Rise resident Sheila Irwin told the Times she was closely questioned about her attitude to wrestling crocodiles and threatened with arrest after she admitted she preferred vegemite to marmite.
I thought the behaviour of the immigration officers was heavy-handed and frightening. They appeared to be stopping and questioning every antipodean-looking person, many of whom were clearly ordinary Kensal Green residents on their way to work in a pub for a few months in a gap year before going on a tour of Europe in a clapped-out camper van.
And when I pointed out that I was actually from New Zealand and not Australia, the officer was very insulting and told me ‘you antipodeans all look the same to me’
Responding to the accusations, a Home Office spokesman, Lynton Crosby said:
We make no apology for enforcing our immigration laws and where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them. So stop being such a bunch of whingeing pommes.
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