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Prisoners: Foreigners

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many foreign national prisoners granted immigration bail by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal have subsequently re-offended in each of the last five years; (260083)

(2) how many foreign national prisoners held under immigration detention powers have been granted bail in each of the last 10 years.

The UK Border Agency is advised of all individuals who meet the published criteria for deportation, however there are a number of cases where individuals have been convicted of minor offences and consequently only received a brief custodial sentence. In order to identify how many individuals who have been detained under immigration powers were previously convicted of a criminal offence within the United Kingdom which resulted in a custodial sentence and how many of those were subsequently granted bail it would be necessary to cross reference UK Border Agency records with those held by the Police which would incur a significantly disproportionate cost.

The Chief Executive has regularly written to the Home Affairs Select Committee in order to update them with all of the most robust and accurate information relating to foreign national prisoners. She has explained that those who are detained have the right to apply for bail to the independent Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. When the Agency believes that the individual concerned presents a risk of harm to the public, it will robustly contest the application for bail. The Agency will continue to pursue removal action where appropriate.

Copies of these letters are available in the Library of the House.