24 July 2012
BBC Radio Five Live is reporting this morning that one of its reporters flew out and back into the UK without having to show his passport, contrary to the requirement that every document of every passenger arriving in the country is checked.
Of the 8,500 job cuts planned by the Home Office between 2010 and 2014, 5,300 are in the UK Border Agency and border force.
The union fears arrangements between UKBA, small airports and ports, and aviation operators - that mean all flight and sea arrivals are checked – are falling away because the agency has too few staff.
UKBA is already under fire from the National Audit Office for cutting too many jobs too quickly, and from the home affairs committee for failing to tackle immigration and asylum backlogs.
These issues are at the heart of the union's current dispute with the government that threatens to boil over into industrial action on Thursday if ministers continue to refuse meaningful negotiations.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Ministers have committed to check every document of every passenger arriving in the country, and there should be no loopholes.
"Security flaws like this would be far less likely if the agency was properly staffed, and this investigation adds to the growing sense that the Home Office is cracking under the strain of job cuts."