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Custodial Sentences: Non-UK Citizens

Volume 672: debated on Tuesday 25 February 2020

10. How many non-UK citizens are serving custodial sentences; and if he will negotiate compulsory prisoner transfer agreements with other countries. (900820)

I understand my hon. Friend’s concern about foreign nationals in our prisons. As he is aware, we have 110 prisoner transfer agreements with countries and territories around the world, and we continue to work closely with other Governments to try to increase that number.

Foreign national offenders convicted in this country should serve their terms of imprisonment at the expense of their own Governments in their own countries. We may have 110 prisoner transfer agreements, but only about three are compulsory. Now that we have rediscovered our mojo for tough international renegotiation, can we please have more compulsory prisoner transfer agreements with high-volume crime countries with lots of nationals in our prisons, such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Albania?

My hon. Friend is right to highlight the importance of removing foreign offenders to serve sentences in their own countries, and we have removed 51,000 such offenders from our prisons since 2010. He is right to highlight that we have a number of nationalities within our prisons, including a high number of Albanian, Polish and Romanian prisoners. We are considering all these matters in some detail.[Official Report, 17 March 2020, Vol. 673, c. 7MC.]