Home Secretary Theresa May has announced that David Bolt will be the next Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration. Bolt is currently CEO of the International Federation of Spirits Producers, an organisation that works diligently to combat the counterfeiting of its members’ distilled spirits.
Bolt – who has held senior positions in the arenas of security and crime-fighting, including spells with the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) – will now continue the important work of scrutinising the effectiveness and efficiency of border and immigration operational practices.
After making the announcement to Parliament, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The role of providing detailed, independent scrutiny of our work and performance in controlling immigration and protecting Britain’s borders is absolutely vital. David Bolt is an excellent candidate and I’m confident that he will carry out his duties with diligence, vigour and objectivity.”
Between 2006 and 2010, Bolt was executive director of intelligence at SOCA with specific responsibility for knowledge management, tasking and co-ordination and covert collection.
He served as deputy director general of strategic intelligence at the NCIS between 2001 and 2006, with responsibility for the Corporate Governance Division.
Bolt has been appointed to the Chief Inspector role for a fixed term of two years following a fair and open recruitment process, and will take up the position as soon as possible after the security clearance process has been completed.
Bolt’s predecessor, John Vine CBE QPM, occupied the role for almost seven years before stepping down at the end of December 2014.
Vine was previously Chief Constable of Tayside Police in Scotland from 2000 to 2008, during which time crimes of violence fell by 30% and crimes of dishonesty by 40%. He also presided over a 60% decrease in car theft and, in 2005, led the policing operation for the G8 World Leaders’ Summit at Gleneagles.
Vine joined the West Yorkshire Police fast-track programme back in 1981. He undertook a number of operational roles before being appointed Commander of the Halifax Division in 1992. Vine was then appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary in 1996, at which point he assumed responsibility for divisional policing, specialist units and the investigation of major crimes.
President of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland from 2003-2004, in 2007 Vine was appointed as one of two Chief Constable Representatives on the Board of the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA).
He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service and a CBE in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Basic remit for the Independent Chief Inspector’s role
The Independent Chief Inspector works to ensure independent scrutiny of the UK’s border and immigration functions, providing both confidence and assurance as to their effectiveness and efficiency.
The annual Inspection Plan is agreed at the start of each year but the Chief Inspector does retain flexibility to work outside of that plan.
The remit of the Chief Inspector does not permit him to consider individual cases. However, he may take note of the key issues of an individual case and use these to inform his wider inspection programme.
Currently, the Chief Inspector’s team consists of 30 members of staff.
Main areas for inspection include:
*Practice and procedure in making decisions
*Treatment of claimants and applicants
*Consistency of approach
*Discrimination in the exercise of functions
*Handling of complaints
All inspection reports are published at: http://icinspector.independent.gov.uk/