Homer at centre of deportation row

A FORMER Suffolk council boss has found herself embroiled in the row over the Home Office's failure to deport overseas nationals after they have served their sentences.

By Graham Dines

A FORMER Suffolk council boss has found herself embroiled in the row over the Home Office's failure to deport overseas nationals after they have served their sentences.

Lin Homer, a former chief executive of Suffolk County Council, has been head of the immigration and nationality directorate since August, a month after Home Secretary Charles Clarke was told that the process has broken down.

However, since July, 288 prisoners have been released rather than deported, leading to calls for Mr Clarke to quit because of a “systemic breakdown” and a failure of communication between various departments within the Home Office.


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The Association of Chief Police Officers yesterday announced it had began processing names provided by the Home Office in a bid to track down 916 outstanding offenders who should have been deported.

The massive blunder saw 1,023 overseas criminals released from jail without being considered for deportation, including murderers, rapists and paedophiles.

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Mrs Homer was chief executive of Suffolk County Council from 1997 to 2002 with a home in Hadleigh, having previously been deputy chief with Hertfordshire. She left Suffolk to take over as the chief executive of Birmingham City Council, and was on a salary of £170,000 when she was appointed to the Home Office last year.

The Home Secretary blamed a breakdown in communications between the prison service and the immigration and nationality directorate, which he said were working under pressure.

The Prime Minister said the problem was being addressed by new management in the Home Office.

The immigration and nationality directorate has responsibility for the key areas of managed migration, border control, asylum, citizenship and nationality.

When she was appointed, Mrs Homer said: “I am looking forward to building on the significant improvements that have already been made and ensuring that we take the service forward efficiently and confidently.”

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