Failure to deport foreign criminals 'appalling' says report.

January 02, 2006

Deportation of foreign criminals from the UK must be urgently speeded up as the current failure to remove those who have committed offences only adds to the public’s concerns about Britain’s control of its borders, says a new report out today.

In ‘Deportation of foreign criminals – a case for urgent action’
(read report) think-tank Migrationwatch says the current system is ‘appalling’ – and is further compounded by the fact that when deportations do take place there is no system to prevent these criminals returning to Britain under false identities.

‘Some 9,000 of the 75,000 prisoners in custody in the UK are foreign nationals but only about 1,000 recommendations for deportation are made each year,’ said Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch. ‘The government does not even appear to know how many are actually deported.’

‘This failure is even more difficult to accept when the public see other European countries, such as France, who have signed up to essentially the same treaties as the UK, who nonetheless seem to have little difficulty in removing people who they consider undesirable,’ he said.

The paper argues that there should be a presumption that deportation should be recommended for a wide range of offences attracting a sentence of twelve months or more as well as for offenders who are illegal immigrants. The trigger should be lower for a second or third offence.

Central records should be kept, including biometric information which should be available to visa issuing posts overseas to prevent offenders applying for a visa under a false identity.

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