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ODA plays down Olympic arrests

The Olympic Delivery Authority has moved to play down reports of illegal workers on the London 2012 site.

It emerged today that UK Border Agency officers made 93 arrests between April and November, 85 of which involved suspected immigration offences.

Forty-one of the arrests were due to using fake passports or other false documents.

But an ODA spokesman said: “Media reports today give the impression that the UK Borders Agency has removed people working illegally on the Olympic Park.

“In the vast majority of cases those arrested have not done a minute’s work on the Park. They have been arrested before setting foot on the site through the screening checks set.”

Senior director for the UKBA Olympic 2012 Programme Tony Smith said: “The UK Border Agency has officers based permanently at the Olympic site to check the identity of people seeking work and help ensure the Games are delivered on time, with a workforce legally entitled to be there.

“We’re working closely with employers and contractors, giving presentations and advising them what checks they need to make to make to prevent illegal working. My officers offer forgery awareness training and conduct visits to businesses to ensure that their policies and procedures are up-to-date.

“By working with other agencies we can help make the Olympics a safe and enjoyable event for all.”