Prisoners: Repatriation

Justice written question – answered on 9th April 2014.

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Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Shadow Minister (London), Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) what length of custodial sentence was given to each foreign national returned to their home country as part of the EU prisoner transfer agreement in each year since that agreement came into force; and how long each had left to serve at the time of the repatriation;

(2) how many UK citizens have been returned to the UK from abroad to serve their custodial sentences under the EU prisoner transfer agreement in each year since that agreement came into force; of what offences they were convicted; what length of custodial sentence they received; and how long they had left to serve in custody at the time of their repatriation;

(3) what crimes were committed by those foreign nationals who have been returned from the UK to their home countries under the EU prisoner transfer agreement in each year since that agreement came into force;

(4) how many offenders have been returned from the UK to each country under the EU prisoner transfer agreement in each year since that agreement came into force.

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

The council framework decision 2008/909/JHA (The EU PTA) entered into force on 5 December 2011.

To date 18 member states (including the United Kingdom) have implemented the agreement. The European Court of Justice will have jurisdiction over the measure from 1 December 2014 and member states may face infraction proceedings if they have not implemented the agreement by then.

Use of the EU PTA is an early stage and the number of prisoners transferred remains low. However, we expect to see a significant increase in the number of prisoner transferred once the agreement has been implemented by all member states.

To date 17 prisoners have been transferred to other jurisdictions.

The following table sets out the number of prisoners transferred from England and Wales to other EU member states since the implementation of the EU PTA in December 2011.

Receiving State Year of Transfer Sentence Length Offence Type Time left to serve in the United Kingdom on the date of transfer (days)
Belgium 2013 8 years Wounding with intent 1,016
Belgium 2013 5 years, 5 months Facilitating illegal entry 634
Belgium 2013 9 years Drugs 1,135
Latvia 2013 10 years Death by dangerous driving 882
Malta 2013 6 years Sexual offences 578
The Netherlands 2013 7 years Drugs 1,043
The Netherlands 2013 15 years Drugs 2,098
The Netherlands 2013 10 years Drugs 1,189
The Netherlands 2013 6 years Drugs 544
The Netherlands 2013 5 years, 3 months Sex Offences 437
The Netherlands 2013 6 years, 6 months Drugs 793
The Netherlands 2013 5 years, 6 months Drugs 608
The Netherlands 2013 5 years, 6 months Drugs 638
The Netherlands 2013 Indeterminate Sentence for Public Protection Sexual Offences n/a
The Netherlands 2013 4 years, 8 months Drugs 355
The Netherlands 2013 7 years Drugs 705
The Netherlands 2014 4 years Drugs 388
n/a = Not applicable.

The following table sets out the number of British nationals transferred from other EU member states to England and Wales since the EU PTA entered into force in December 2011. Some 10 prisoners have been transferred.

Sentence State Year of Transfer Sentence Length Offence Type Time left to serve in custody following transfer (days)
Belgium 2013 3 years, 11 months Drugs 415
Belgium 2013 5 years Human Trafficking 476
Belgium 2013 8 years Sexual Offences 1,195
Denmark 2012 14 years Drugs 1,324
Denmark 2012 3 years Drugs 146
Denmark 2012 2 years Fraud 124
Italy 2013 5 year, 4 months Drugs 974
Italy 2013 9 years, 6 months Drugs 1,617
Italy 2013 2 years, 10 months Drugs 267
Italy 2013 15 years, 4 months Drugs 1,847
Notes: 1. The figures given in the tables relate to England and Wales only. The transfer of prisoners to Scotland and to Northern Ireland is a devolved matter, and is therefore the responsibility of the relevant Minister. 2. The numbers reported here are drawn from a Prison Service Case Tracking System. Care is taken when processing these cases but the figures may be subject to inaccuracies associated with any recording system.

All foreign national offenders (FNOs) sentenced to custody are referred to the Home Office for them to consider deportation at the earliest possible opportunity.

The prisoner transfer process is just one mechanism for removing foreign national offenders. 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 was introduced in May 2012, we have removed 231 FNOs to date.

Whereas this Government have begun to reduce the foreign national population in prison since 2010, between 1997 and 2010, the number of foreign nationals in our prisons more than doubled.

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