Prisoners: Foreign Nationals

Justice written question – answered on 31st March 2014.

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Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answers of 5 February 2014, Official Report, column 293W and 28 February 2014, Official Report, column 548W, on prisoners: foreign nationals, which three countries have the next largest number of foreign nationals in UK prisons; and what steps he is taking to return those offenders to secure detention in their own countries.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Data on the nationality of Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) held in custody are published in the quarterly offender management statistics.

Table 1.6:

The countries with the 7th, 8th and 9th largest populations of FNOs in UK prisons on 31 December 2013 are:

7 Nigeria—(469)

8 Somalia—(430)

9 India—(426)

We signed a Prisoner Transfer Arrangement (PTA) with Nigeria in January and we expect to see transfers before the end of the year.

We do not have any prisoner transfer arrangements with Somalia at present, and security concerns and the requirement for prison reform may provide challenges in the short-term. We have a voluntary PTA with India and are planning to work to try and make this more effective.

The Prisoner Transfer process is just one mechanism for removing Foreign National Offenders (FNOs). The number of FNOs deported under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) has increased under this Government. In 2013, we removed nearly 2,000 FNOs under ERS and under the Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS), which we introduced in May 2012, we have removed 234 FNOs to date.

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