This week, two men thought to be Pakistani, suffered injuries and were taken to hospital following an immigration raid by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in Balham, South London.
A UKBA spokesperson told IRR News: ‘During a UKBA enforcement operation on Balham High Road, two individuals attempted to escape and suffered minor injuries’. The Fire Brigade was called to assist the two men after they are reported to have jumped on to the roof of a building following the raid on Tuesday 6 July at 6.40am. Four men were arrested and they are all thought to be from Pakistan.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which can conduct independent investigations in to such raids, told IRR News that the incident had been referred to it but that a decision was taken to refer it back to the UKBA to investigate as the IPCC would only investigate raids in which serious injuries or death occurred.
In recent years, there have been a number of UKBA raids in which people have suffered injuries after trying to flee immigration officials and a number of people have died as a result of such raids.
- In April 2008, in Tooting, south London a man in his 30s broke both of his legs following a raid by the UKBA on a restaurant.
- In May 2008, a 51-year-old Ghanaian man suffered injuries after falling from the third floor of a block of flats in Peckham, south London, following a raid by three immigration officers and a seconded police officer.
- IRR News has also heard about an IPCC investigation in to the arrest of man in Doncaster who alleged that he was so badly treated by the police that he fell into a coma.
Furthermore, at least five people are known to have died during similar incidents. Most recently, in September 2008, 36-year-old Frank Odame was found with head injuries below a block of flats in Woodford Green, Essex after police officers and the UKBA visited the address. Others that have died include: Joy Gardner (1993), Joseph Nnalue (1994), Noorjahan Begum (1996) and Joseph Crentsil (2001). All the deaths occurred in the London area and all but one (that of Noorjahan Begum) involved the Metropolitan Police and immigration officers.
Read the IRR’s factfiles on the deaths of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants
Read an IRR News story: ‘Crusade against the undocumented’