Offenders: Foreign Nationals

Home Office written question – answered at on 12 March 2024.

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Photo of Lord Jackson of Peterborough Lord Jackson of Peterborough Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government how many foreign national offenders they have removed from the United Kingdom at the conclusion of their custodial sentences in each of the past ten years.

Photo of Lord Sharpe of Epsom Lord Sharpe of Epsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Our priority will always be to keep the British public safe. That is why foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them.

The table below provides information on the returns of foreign national offenders (FNOs) and those returned under Early Removal Scheme (ERS).

Date of return

Total FNO Returns

FNOs returned under ERS

2014

5,395

1,717

2015

6,024

2,034

2016

6,437

2,161

2017

6,292

2,106

2018

5,518

2,118

2019

5,128

2,101

2020

2,944

1,364

2021

2,706

1,196

2022

3,097

601

Jan 2023 - Sep 2023

2,801

-

TOTAL

46,342

15,398

Footnote

1: The total returns dataset is from 01 January 2014 to 01 September 2023, in line with published data.

2: Available published statistics for ERS are only available up to and including June 2022.

The Nationality and Borders Act introduced in April 2022 made it easier and quicker to remove FNOs and those with no right to be in the UK. The Act extended the period an FNO can be removed from prison under the ERS from a maximum of 9 months to 12 months before their custodial sentence would otherwise have ended. New changes, which came into force in January 2024, extended the removal period even further. Removal of FNOs can now take place up to 18 months before the end of the custodial element of their sentence, providing they have served the requisite period before removal can take place.

The ERS remains the most effective mechanism for removing eligible FNOs as quickly as possible, freeing up prison beds and saving money.

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