Offenders: Foreign Nationals

Home Office written question – answered on 6th March 2015.

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Photo of Ian Davidson Ian Davidson Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what measures her Department has put in place to track foreign national offenders upon release back into the community since May 2010.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

Holding answer received on 02 March 2015

Tough enforcement is the cornerstone of this Government’s immigration policy.

Those who break our laws should be removed from the country at the earliest

opportunity, and we will seek to remove any foreign national who

receives a custodial sentence for a criminal offence.

We removed almost 5,100 foreign national offenders in 2013/14 and over 23,000

since 2010. We are removing more offenders straight from prison, which saved

the taxpayer £27.5million in the last financial year. This is all despite a 28%

increase in appeals.

We are dealing with offenders who do not want to go home, and in some cases

whose home country does not want to take them back. This presents challenges

which we are determined to overcome. Chief among the challenges are the legal

barriers we face.

That is why this Government is the first to have a strategy for dealing with

foreign national offenders, including overcoming obstacles to their removal. We have

also introduced new powers in the Immigration Act (2014) which have cut the number

of grounds on which criminals can appeal deportation. More than 500 foreign offenders

have already been removed under the new ‘deport now, appeal later’ provisions.

The majority of foreign national offenders in the community were released by an

Immigration Judge, despite our strong opposition. Most offenders are subject to

reporting conditions and, where possible, electronic tagging. If a foreign

national offender fails to comply with these conditions by absconding, our

dedicated national absconder tracing team works with the police, other

government agencies and commercial companies to track down, arrest

and return absconders to custody. The Home Office is using intelligence

and working more closely with partners to maximise the impact of enforcement

activity.

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