Over 2,500 Foreign Criminals Freed From UK Prisons in the Past Year

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (2R) talks with prison staff during a visit to HM P
JON SUPER/AFP via Getty Images

Over 2,500 foreign criminals have been released onto the streets of Britain rather than being deported in the last year alone.

At an average of seven releases per day, Home Office figures reveal that over the past 12 months some 2,552 foreign criminals were freed from prison and remained in the UK without being deported.

The number of foreign criminals being released back into the community spiked during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, with a record 846 set loose between April and June alone, the Daily Mail reported.

Hundreds of foreign national offenders successfully won their release after arguing that as a result of many international flights being grounded during the pandemic, there was not a “realistic prospect of imminent removal” and therefore, under current law, it would be illegal to detain them in immigration holding facilities.

Research Director for the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank, David Spencer, said: “It is outrageous that thousands of convicted foreign national criminals have been able to exploit the pandemic to secure their release onto our streets.”

With the recent surge in releases, there are now a record 9,987 foreign national offenders free to roam the streets of Britain, representing a 150 per cent jump since 2012, when fewer than 4,000 remained in the country.

The startling revelations from the Home Office come as a group of nearly 70 MPs and peers are attempting to block the deportation of criminals to Jamaica, in the so-called #StopThePlane campaign. Over 80 black celebrities, businessmen, and actors, including supermodel Naomi Campbell, have also joined the movement to block the deportation of 30 criminals on Wednesday.

The socialist former leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, argued: “We need an end to the ‘hostile environment’ and to treat people with humanity, respect and consideration.”

Far-left Labour MP Diane Abbott characterised the deportation flight as “cruel and dangerous” because it would separate families.

In response to the attempt to block the flight, a Home Office source told The Sun: “Today we have seen who the Labour Party want to put first; it’s not the victims of horrific crimes like rape, the children who are left without fathers who have been brutally murdered, those whose lives have been ruined by illegal drugs, or the British people who want to feel safe when walking down the street.

“It is foreign national offenders that the Labour Party want to put first. Killers. Rapists. Drug dealers. Convicted foreign criminals who have no right to be in this country, free to walk our streets.

“This Conservative Government will not let this happen and will never put these criminals first.”

Pro-migrant lawyers have already successfully blocked some of the deportations with last-minute legal challenges, and it is expected that more will be saved from deportation on appeal.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka


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