Two thirds have no confidence in Government handling of immigration or crime, research finds
Two thirds of the public have no confidence in the Government's handling of immigration or crime, according to the Home Office's own research.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Last Updated: 12:23AM GMT 02 Dec 2008
A third of people think there are too many migrants and illegal immigrants here while the numbers worried about knife crime have more than doubled.
The stark picture came as it emerged hundreds of illegal immigrants and foreign prisoners facing deportation are being handed free mobile phones while they are locked up.
Shadow Immigration Minister, Damian Green, said: “The Government should pay attention to their own research, admit the immigration system is a shambles and adopt our policies of an annual limit on non-EU immigration, transitional controls on future EU members and the establishment of a dedicated UK border police force.”
A quarterly poll for the Home Office showed 64 per cent of people are not satisfied with the way the Government is dealing with immigration – compared to 15 per cent who are.
The picture is virtually no different to this time last year despite the Home Office's pledges the new points based system will lead to managed immigration.
Some 33 per cent of people said there are too many illegal immigrants and are concerned there is no cap.
A similar amount (35 per cent) believe there are too many migrants in general in the country.
In a separate development, it emerged more than 200 illegal immigrants and former foreign prisoners at the Campsfield Removal Centre are being given free mobile phones so they can contact their families or lawyers.
The Home Office insisted, however, that they are pay-as-you-go so the detainees must pay their own bills and hand them back when they are finally deported.
The Oxfordshire centre was the scene of three major disturbances last year and the number of ex-foreign prisoners allowed there has now been capped at 60 after a report found their presence was a factor in one of the riots.
The Home Office polling also showed 65 per cent of the public are not satisfied with the Government's handling of crime, while only 17 per cent are happy.
A third of the public also fear there is too much knife crime compared to 15 per cent in May this year.
One in five people also believe sentences are too lenient.
The polling questioned 1,813 adults in England and Wales in August this year.