Border Agency Complaint to my MP

Dear Mark Field,

I wrote to you last April regarding immigration policy and I was grateful for your encouraging reply. The good news is my girlfriend is with me and we have both enjoyed two weddings in Europe.

Nonetheless I am writing to you about the conduct of the UK border agency. On both occasions I was upset by the questioning and treatment of my girlfriend by the UK border staff. I witnessed it by standing with her in the All passports queue.

Last night in LHR Terminal 5 was particularly unpleasant where American children were being sick after such a long wait, Russian English students were being treated incredibly badly for not filling in some form and my witnessing of perhaps at best a border staff "having a bad day".

I tried complaining on the UK Border Agency Website today, but you can't seem to make the complaint anonymously and without filling in some Word document. May I please encourage you to make the border agency more accountable. To begin with, staff should have their names/id clearly printed on their uniform. I would like to go so far as allowing the recording of conversations by members of the public, so there can be some evidence in proceedings.

Yours sincerely,

The reply:

Thank you for your email regarding the poor level of service your partner received from UK Border Agency officials at Heathrow's Terminal Five. I was pleased to read that your girlfriend has now been able to rejoin you in the UK.

I was very sorry to learn that UK Border Agency officials failed to conduct themselves in a courteous manner when your partner was processed through customs. I should like to confirm that I have written to the Acting Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency asking him to take note of your negative experience. Border security must be robust, especially given that the current threat level from international terrorism is set at severe, but that does not excuse officials from treating those passing through customs with due respect and courtesy.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to raise this matter with me. I shall, of course, be back in touch as soon as I receive a response.


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