Capita – Texts, Emails and Telephone calls to Migrants

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
17 March 2013

In September 2012 the UK Border Agency contracted with Capita on a payment by results basis. The company was to track down over 150,000 persons in the UK without leave and persuade them to leave. Payment by results, the Home Affairs Committee was told, will start in December 2012.

The means of persuasion included a barrage of texts, telephone calls, emails and letters. There was no attempt to correspond with legal representatives and indeed we have been writing to Capita on many occasions asking them to communicate directly with ourselves.

One must speculate that the effect of the initiative would be to drive frightened individuals without leave underground. It also became clear that many recipients of these texts messages have lawful leave or pending applications. The Data Protection principle requires those making use of personal data to ensure that it is accurate and up to date. There may be scope for many clients to complain to the Information Services Commissioner.