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Alex calls on Home Office to review failures that threatened Stockton safety

The Home Office must urgently review the robustness of their procedures for handling cases involving the relocation of dangerous asylum seekers, Alex Cunningham has warned, after the extent of the breakdown in communications with local enforcement agencies became clear.

The Stockton North MP today received confirmation from Cleveland Police that no formal notification was received prior to the resettlement of Noureden Mallaky-Soodmand in Stockton, with officers becoming aware of his presence through routine policing enquiries. It was only ten months after making this discovery that Cleveland Police were officially informed of his presence.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Labour MP urged the Immigration Minister to look at the specifics of the case and to learn the lessons that must be taken away from this incident to ensure there can be no repeat occurrences.

The Iranian national, who was the subject of a Deportation Order following previous convictions and has a history of carrying offensive weapons, was arrested in Stockton during April last year after wielding a curved blade while threatening to behead innocent passers-by in the name of Islamic State. He received a four-year prison term in September.

Alex said:

“The Acting Chief Constable of Cleveland Police has today confirmed that Mr Mallaky-Soodmand had been in Stockton for at least ten months before they were officially alerted to his presence. It was only through effective routine policing that officers discovered that the dangerous criminal was in the area.

“This is just one failure in a catalogue of errors made by the Home Office in this matter. After months of pressing, ministers admitted just weeks ago that the Department has no record of even minimal security checks being carried out prior to his release and that the suitability of the release address also went uninspected.

“This latest information again highlights the complete disregard shown by the Home Office for the safety of local people, putting communities in Stockton at risk by failing to alert either the local police or other enforcement authorities to his presence.

“I was pleased to hear the Immigration Minister finally agree to reflect on the specific details of this case, and hope that his Department will now review their entire procedure for handling cases such as this.”