Statistics published by the National Audit Office show that the Home Office has made slower progress than expected in deporting foreign criminals to their home countries.
Despite increased resources and tougher powers the report published today shows that the number of Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) in prison and the number deported have remained broadly unchanged since 2006.
In the last eight years the number of FNOs in UK prisons increased 4 per cent from 10,231 to 10,649 despite a tenfold increase in he number of staff working in that field.
The report reveals that after an initial surge in the number removed from 2,856 in 2006-07 to 5,613 in 2008-09 (following the problems in 2006 when the Department found that 1,013 FNOs had been released without being considered for deportation), removal numbers have declined to 5,097 in 2013-14.
The report will not make happy reading for the Conservatives who are facing a continual bombardment by UKIP on issues such as Human Rights law abuses and uncontrolled migration.
In a damning statement, it claims that “the Government did relatively little before December 2012 to tackle the problem of potential FNOs entering the UK.” and adds “A new 2013 action plan has focused efforts on this aspect of prevention but it lacks a structured and informed approach.”
The issue of FNOs once again hit the headlines last month when it was revealed that the chief suspect in the murder of teenager Alice Gross had been convicted of murdering his wife in his home country of Latvia.
As Breitbart London reported, despite the Prime Minister saying he would personally lead the investigation into how he was allowed into the country, the extent of this was revealed to be a discussion topic at an EU meeting.
EU rules state that a criminal conviction is not sufficient reason for a country to deny entry to someone from another EU country – so even if data on criminal convictions were shared it is likely this would not have stopped Arniz Salkalns from entering and living in the UK.
The report criticises the Home office for the ‘limited progress’ it has made in removing FNOs who have completed their sentences. It states that at the end of March 2014, more than one in six FNOs living in the community (760) had absconded, up 6 percent since 2010.
Furthermore, 395 absconders have been missing since before 2010, of which 58 are high harm individuals. Despite the 2006 crisis, the Department did not keep records of FNOs released without consideration for deportation before January 2009, and estimates 151 FNOs have been released without consideration since then.
Amyas Morse, Head of the National Audit Office said: “It is no easy matter to manage foreign national offenders in the UK and to deport those who have completed their sentences. However, too little progress has been made, despite the increased resources and effort devoted to this problem.
“The Government’s focus on preventative measures and early action is promising, but it has only just started to exploit these options. It needs to build on the momentum of its recent action plan, in particular taking advantage of relatively inexpensive and straightforward opportunities to make progress.”