Convictions: Foreign Nationals

Ministry of Justice written question – answered am ar 22 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lee Anderson Lee Anderson Reform UK, Ashfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make it his policy to publish statistics on the (a) nationality and (b) visa status of offenders convicted in England and Wales every 12 months.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice currently publishes the self-declared nationality of those entering custody as well as those in the prison population as part of their quarterly Offender Management Statistics: Offender management statistics quarterly: July to September 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

We refer all recorded foreign national offenders awarded a custodial sentence to the Home Office who can carry out immigration checks alongside consideration of each case for deportation. An offender’s nationality and immigration status is not routinely collected by the courts. We are working with the Home Office to explore the potential for the publication of further statistical data related to the nationality and immigration status of offenders.

The removal of foreign national offenders is a Government priority and my department continues to work closely with the Home Office to maximise the number of deportations.

On 11 March, the Government set out a plan to increase the number of foreign national offenders removed through:

  • the recruitment of 400 additional caseworkers and streamlining the end-to-end removal process;

  • extending foreign national conditional cautions to foreign national offenders with limited leave to remain; and

  • amending deportation policy to enable foreign national offenders given suspended sentences of 6 months or more to be considered for deportation.

These actions build on our expansion of the Early Removal Scheme to allow for removal of foreign national offenders up to 18 months before the end of the custodial element of their sentence and expediting prisoner transfers with priority countries such as Albania and seeking to conclude new transfer agreements with partner countries.

Published figures show that FNO returns have increased following the pandemic, in the latest 12-month period (ending December 2023) by 27% when compared to the previous 12-month period. Between January 2019 and December 2023 17,795 FNOs have been removed.

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