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Prisoners: Repatriation

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 190835, tabled on 13 November 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of imprisoned foreign national offenders have been transferred from the UK to a prison in the country of which they are a national under the EU prisoner Transfer Framework Decision since December 2011.

Answered on

19 November 2018

Any foreign national who comes to our country and abuses our hospitality by breaking the law should be in no doubt of our determination to punish and deport them. More than 44,000 foreign national offenders have been removed from the UK since 2010, and in the last financial year almost 6,000 were removed from prisons, immigration removal centres, and the community.

The Early Removal Scheme is the principal method for removing foreign national offenders early from prison. In 2017/18, over 2000 foreign national offenders were removed under this scheme. In addition, prisoners may be transferred to a prison in their own country. The principal compulsory prisoner transfer scheme is the EU Prisoner Transfer Framework Decision (Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA). The table below gives the proportion of EU nationals held in prisons and the HMPPS run IRC. The table includes those EU nationals held on remand, those serving short sentences, and those held under immigration powers who are not eligible for transfer.

Number of prisoners transferred under the EU PTFD

EU FNO population (inc. IRCs) as at 30 June each year

Percentage transferred (Transfers divided by Population)

2011

0

3,688

-

2012

0

3,818

-

2013

16

3,999

0.4%

2014

19

4,252

0.4%

2015

38

4,126

0.9%

2016

81

4,205

1.9%

2017

95

4,024

2.4%

2018

85 (to 31 Oct)

3,905

2.2%

The EU PTFD came into force in December 2011. At that time only four Member States, in addition to the UK, had implemented the Framework Decision. Other Member States implemented the Framework Decision at various dates from 2012 onwards. Two Member States have yet to implement the agreement. The number of prisoners transferred has risen steadily since 2013 as Member States put in place new legislation and procedures necessary to implement the Framework Decision. Prior to a Member State’s implementation of the Framework Decision transfers took place under the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. These transfers are not included in the table.

The number of foreign national offenders held in Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for their respective governments.

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