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Prisoners: Foreigners

Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign nationals in UK prisons are from (a) outside the EU and (b) within the EU; what categories of offences they have committed; what estimate he has made of the number to be deported once they leave prison; and what previous offences they had committed before entering the UK. (125862)

At the end of December 2006 there were (a) 8,904 foreign national prisoners from outside the European Union and (b) 2,290 foreign national prisoners from within the European Union detained in prison establishments in England and Wales. Information on the offence groups for the immediate custodial sentenced population of prisoners within prison establishments in England and Wales by nationality group can be found within the following table.

All foreign nationals in custody have their sentences assessed in line with the guidance issued to IND and prisons on deportation matters. Those who meet the set criteria will be considered for deportation.

Information about crimes committed by foreign nationals before they entered the UK is not routinely collected by the police. Requests for such information are made at the discretion of the investigating police force depending on operational need.

These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Prison population1 within England and Wales at 31 December 2006 by UK national, EU2 and non-EU foreign national and offence group

Unrecorded and other

United Kingdom

Non-EU

EU (non-UK)

Total

Violence against the person

42

15,507

1,007

317

16,872

Sexual offences

14

6,228

589

163

6,994

Robbery

11

7,915

429

167

8,522

Burglary

17

7,678

96

149

7,940

Theft and handling

9

3,258

154

108

3,529

Fraud and forgery

18

838

817

66

1,739

Drug offences

28

8,034

2,119

499

10,680

Motoring offences

8

1,389

74

47

1,518

Other offences

13

5,102

405

169

5,690

Offence not recorded

2

319

22

2

345

All

161

56,268

5,711

1,687

63,828

1 Prison population under immediate custodial sentence shown.

2 European Union as at 31 December 2006 did not yet include Bulgaria and Romania who joined on 1 January 2007