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Deportations (Dangerous Foreign Nationals)

Volume 548: debated on Monday 9 July 2012

We are working with the prisons, the courts and the police to overcome prisoner non-compliance in the removals process by establishing nationality and identity earlier; we are working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to increase the efficiency of the documentation process; and we are removing a significant number of prisoners much earlier in the process.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. What prospects are there for removing foreign national offenders before they have completed their sentence so that the British taxpayer does not have to bear such a cost?

My hon. Friend makes a very good point, which we are working on. Where sentence length allows, consideration of deportation is now started up to 18 months before the earliest point of removal. As a result, we are removing a significant number of prisoners much earlier in the process. About a third of foreign national offenders removed in 2011 were removed before the end of their sentence, which is up from just under 20% in 2008.

Do the figures for removal in these circumstances differ between the different nations and regions of the United Kingdom, and if so, why?

There are not significant differences because these people are, by definition, foreign national offenders, so they do not come from any of the regions of the United Kingdom. Broadly speaking, how efficient we are relates to whether we have a concentration of foreign national prisoners in a prison where UK Border Agency officers can get at them early enough to make sure that all the schemes operate as efficiently as possible.