Migrant women are disproportionately impacted by serious crime. As recognised by the government, this vulnerability is linked to the limited avenues for support available due to their insecure immigration status. Moreover, perpetrators and exploiters weaponise women’s status to limit their options further, keeping them trapped in harm. 

Amongst migrant victims of crime, one of the most significant barriers to accessing support and justice is low confidence in approaching the police and other statutory agencies to report crime and ask for help. This lack of trust is not unjustified but fostered by existing data-sharing agreements between statutory services, including the police and the Home Office. Freedom of information requests (FOI) showed that between May 2020 and September 2022, the police shared the details of over 2,000 vulnerable victims with Immigration Enforcement after victims reported the crime. Some of these victims have been served with enforcement papers and are at risk of deportation. Recently, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner revealed that all police forces in England and Wales have shared information with Immigration Enforcement after victims of domestic abuse approached them for support.

In 2020, three independent police watchdogs conducting a super-complaint investigation concluded that these data-sharing agreements between the police and the Home Office are causing significant harm to the public interest because serious crimes are not reported and investigated, allowing perpetrators to act with impunity.

We need your support to ensure migrant victims and survivors of crime are not excluded from safety. 

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For further information, contact us: 

Elizabeth Jiménez-Yáñez, elizabeth@lawrs.org.uk 

Carolina Caicedo, carolina@lawrs.org.uk