HIGH-profile failures have eroded public trust in the Government’s handling of immigration, according to a new report.

Compiled by think-tank British Future and campaign group HOPE not Hate, the report – National Conversation – was published yesterday for the Commons Home Affairs Committee.

It said: “A reason that many participants feel migration flows are uncontrolled is that they do not trust the Government to enforce immigration policy.

“Some of this lack of trust is associated with high-profile failures in the Home Office’s delivery of immigration policy.

“The failure to deport foreign national prisoners at the end of their sentences, for example, was mentioned in some panels.”

Researchers said it was the biggest public consultation on immigration, with “citizens’ panels” held in more than 40 towns and cities around the UK, including Aberdeen, Lerwick, Paisley and Dumfries. The paper also found that concerns about migration included pressures on the NHS, housing and schools, as well as social segregation; there was a desire for migrants to integrate into communities and learn English; immigration was seen as positive when migrants brought skills and undertook important work, with their contribution to the NHS frequently cited.

Participants in Lerwick were described as a pragmatic group, with housing pressures their biggest concern about migration.

One said: “All the ones I’ve met all seem to be working and paying taxes. And you’re right about services bursting at the seams in Shetland, but these people, they’re paying money and that money should go towards providing these services and housing.”

An Aberdeen respondent said: “We need to know about the good points, the bad things and the grey areas ... Ask a question and the Prime Minister should answer it straight.”

Jill Rutter, director of strategy at British Future, said: “The public should have more of a say in the choices we make as Britain decides its post-Brexit approach to immigration.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Net migration figures have fallen steadily over the past four quarters and after we leave the EU, we will put in place an immigration system which works in the best interests of the whole of the UK.”

MPs on the Home Affairs Committee, meanwhile, warned that anxiety about illegal immigration had been allowed to “grow unchecked” because of a shortage of official information on the scale of the problem. They said the lack of data had been perceived as the Government showing “indifference” towards an issue of “high public interest”.

A committee report described the “long-standing paucity” of figures on the number of people in the UK unlawfully as a “serious concern”.