Illegals held

SIR, — At 04.30 on Friday morning, I was surprised to read Roger Gillett s letter (Herts Advertiser, May 1) about Hertfordshire Constabulary not detaining suspected illegal immigrants. I can assure him that there are two in our cells at this moment in tim

SIR, - At 04.30 on Friday morning, I was surprised to read Roger Gillett's letter (Herts Advertiser, May 1) about Hertfordshire Constabulary not detaining suspected illegal immigrants. I can assure him that there are two in our cells at this moment in time and that 17 have been arrested for illegal entry and detained at St Albans so far this year.

There will have been many others who were arrested for other offences and who would not have been released when their illegal status was established.

There may well have been occasional incidents when people have been given directions to Croydon, but speaking from the frontline, I can reassure him that the vast majority of those who are detained in and around St Albans for illegal entry or for overstaying are passed onto the Immigration Service while still in custody.

Indeed, it is not at all unusual for us to have our cell space taken up with immigration prisoners, so no, whatever he has read in the Daily Telegraph, please rest assured that locally it is not a case of "yet more tax for less service".

INSPECTOR STEPHEN MORRILL

Herts Police.