Dawn Raids in our collections

The Dawn Raids were the Government’s promise to ‘get tough’ on law and order and immigration in the 1970s. Raids took place in the early hours of the morning or late at night when police would enter homes to convict and deport so-called ‘over-stayers’. 

Police also stopped people in the street to ask for evidence of their right to be in the country, but the majority of people targeted in this way were Pacific people, despite Pacific people making up only one third of those overstaying their visas. The majority of over-stayers – British, Australians and South Africans – were not subjected to the same treatment.