UK Home Office Admits to Losing Track of Over 900 Foreign Criminals

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The British Home Office has lost track of over 900 foreign criminals, many of whom the government has failed to enact deportation orders against.

Home Office figures released as a result of a Freedom of Information request have shown that there are currently 916 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) listed as having absconded into the country.

The foreign criminals include sixteen rapists, including child predators, and 20 other types of sex offender, along with 16 burglars, 53 robbers, 65 thieves, and 53 violent offenders including murderers, the Mail on Sunday reported.

The foreigners are said to have avoided deportation by disappearing after their release from prison or in some cases escaping from jails or prison vans.

Foreign criminals escaping into the population is not a new phenomenon in Britain, with Tony Blair-era home secretary Charles Clarke having been forced to resign from his post in 2006 after it emerged that the Labour government had set free 1,023 foreign criminals who should have been deported from the country.

Conservative governments have also failed to tackle the problem, with a 2017 report from then-Chief Inspector of Borders David Bolt revealing that the government of Theresa May had lost track of at least 753 foreign criminals.

Over the past two years, the number of Foreign National Offender (FNO) absconders has risen by 169, despite persistent tough talk on immigration and crime from Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Commenting on the surge in foreign criminals absconding, Migration Watch chairman Alp Mehmet said: “It is symptomatic of the shamefully short-sighted starving of immigration enforcement resources since 2018.

“These dangerous thugs should be detained and removed, not given the freedom of the UK. The public have had enough.”

One of the absconders highlighted in the report includes Iraqi national Rezgar Zengana, who impersonated a private taxi driver in order to rape a 25-year-old woman in Glasgow in 2006. The 38-year-old, who is featured on the National Crime Agency’s most wanted list, remains at large after escaping before his sentencing hearing.

In total, there are some 10,882 foreign criminals currently living free in Britain as of June, despite having been subject to deportation orders.

On top of this, there are at least 37,000 migrants who either fled from detention centres or skipped bail over the past three decades.

While Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to “take back control” of Britain’s borders following Brexit, the government has in fact cut immigration enforcement spending by £40 million over the past two years alone.

A Home Office spokesman claimed that “Foreign criminals should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them, and since January 2019 we have removed 8,441 foreign national offenders,” not mentioning just how small a number this is relative to the resident foreign criminal population/

“We have a dedicated national absconder tracing team working with the police, other government agencies and commercial companies to track down and bring absconders back into contact with the Home Office,” the spokesman added.

“We never give up trying to trace absconders and we have significantly improved the way we collect data on people leaving the UK in recent years.

“Absconders who have left the UK can be traced overseas and their status would be flagged should they try to re-enter, thereby preventing them from ever returning to the UK,” he claimed, although in fact even former deportees return to Britain regularly.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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