In another 'setback' for the government operates its immigration policy John Vine, the Chief Inspector of Immigration, has criticised the blanket use of dawn raids to detain families prior to their deportation. In his review of 42 deportation cases he found the the majority of arrests of families by UKBA snatch squads occurred between 6:30am and 6:40am.
Just as the police use dawn raids to catch their prey unaware, still in their beds or only just beginning to wipe the sleep from their eyes, the UKBA goons chose more or less the same modus operandi to minimise resistance and, not as they have insisted in the past, chose a time before a family's children will have left for school or, tellingly, to minimise any community reaction.
Therefore, the idea is to actually maximise trauma, a point reinforced by only allowing the families less than 45 minutes to pack their belongings and leave behind their homes for an unknown future. Vine also said that it unacceptable that there is no UKBA system available that makes available information on those families who have been detained. Therefore a family's lawyers and supporters are left to ring around the various detention centres and short-term holding facilities in what often turns out as a vain attempt to find them before they are forcibly removed or shunted on to another detention centre half way across the country.
1,168 children were held in detention in 2008-09. 539 (46%) were deported and 629 (54%) released.