FoI request reveals that Dozens of Home Office Staff face criminal investigations.

The Freedom of Information request reveals potential offences include immigration crime, drug offences and fraud.

Dozens of Home Office staff are under criminal investigation for a range of offences, including immigration crime, fraud and drug offences.

In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request about its little-known anti-corruption criminal investigation unit (ACCIU), the Department revealed that 16 allegations were awaiting charging advice or trial, and 18 were under investigation.

The data, which covers the past three years, also shows two criminal convictions of Home Office staff after investigations by the ACCIU.

In separate data disclosed by the Home Office in February 2024 to a civil servant, 60 staff were dismissed for a range of offences between 2019-20 and 2023-24. These include bullying, harassment, discrimination, abuse of position, theft, corruption, fraud, or forgery. A further 63 received written warnings for these disciplinary offences.

The ACCIU has dedicated investigators and works with law enforcement partners to investigate allegations of corruption among department civil servants. It can also prosecute through relevant legislation.

The ACCIU investigates immigration crime, fraud, computer misuse, theft and drug-related offences. Of 95 allegations investigated over the past three years, along with the 34 cases currently under investigation and the two convictions, 59 cases found insufficient evidence to progress to a criminal case.

However, according to the FoI response: “If any part of the allegation was substantiated and the individual identified, this was passed to line managers to consider disciplinary action.”

In the second FoI response, relating to disciplinary action and dismissals, seven staff members were dismissed for abuse of position, and two received written warnings. Twenty-two were dismissed for bullying, harassment, or discrimination, and 40 received written warnings. Thirty-one were dismissed for theft, corruption, fraud, or forgery, with 21 receiving written warnings.

The Home Office is not fit for purpose. It has overseen a massive upsurge in immigration to this country and a failure to make significant inroads into clearing the backlog of asylum applications and removing failed asylum seekers.

While the statistics on people facing action for criminal offences within the Home Office are worrying, one has to wonder if these people can be trusted to make good decisions on the subjects they oversee. However, the leadership of the home office is one of the biggest worries.

We have seen chaos at the top, with the Home Office seeing at least five home secretaries (one of whom served for less than a week) since 2020. The Home Office’s permanent secretary for the last three years has been Sir Michael Rycroft, a diplomat rather than an effective manager, who bids his time at the Home Office until he can arrange a juicy diplomatic posting. His heart people within the department report it is not in the job, and his leadership is suspect with staff overseeing failures such as the Bibby Stockholm barge fiasco not taken to task for their failures

To make matters worse, Rycroft serves as a civil service diversity champion for race, faith, and belief and acts as a representative across Whitehall for civil servants.

In this role, he has helped to write departmental plans on race and hosted meetings with civil servants from various departments to discuss matters relating to race, transgenderism, religion and gender-critical beliefs.

In 2021, Rycroft told officials on a recorded call that they should accept government policy “on some issues”, but on others, it is for them to be “stewards and to think about our role in terms of the leadership of the organisation of the Civil Service, which takes account of ministerial views but doesn’t have to follow them slavishly on every particular issue”—making it pretty clear that Rycroft himself may work within the Department to work against the best interests of the British Public and is encouraging other staff to do the same.

Under Rycroft’s watch, Border Force officers can wear rainbow epaulettes on their uniforms, and non-binary Home Office staff are given male and female security passes to change their gender identity daily. A senior official told colleagues she has to work “10 times harder” than her white counterparts during a lecture on race.

It would appear that the Home Office has an issue not only with staff committing criminal acts but also with leadership pursuing its political agenda. This agenda goes against the views of the majority of the British public.

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