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Prisoners Release: Foreigners

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many of the 954 offenders who had their licence recalled in 2008-09 and were not returned to custody are foreign nationals. (291425)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 14 September 2009, Official Report, columns 2152-153W.

In my written ministerial statement of 6 July 2009, Audit of Licence Revocation, Official Report, columns 34-38WS, I announced that, as at 26 June 2009, 954 offenders who had their licences revoked between 1984 and 31 March 2009 were not recorded as having been returned to custody. Of the 954, there were 192 foreign nationals. Of the 192, 64 were assessed as meeting the criteria for deportation.

Over the last 10 years, more than 99 per cent. of offenders who have been recalled to prison have been successfully apprehended. We are determined to build on this creditable performance.

All agencies are working together to review and revise the end-to-end recall process, to ensure that we have the strongest grip on these individuals and can return them to custody as quickly as possible. The police have an action plan in place to deal with outstanding cases.

The Probation Service has significantly improved its enforcement of breaches. In 1997 only a third of breaches were being appropriately enforced, compared to over 95 per cent. by 2008. Before 1999 recall was rarely used because such cases had to go through the courts.