January 20, 2015
MPs last night accused the Home Office of ‘complete failure’ as it emerged killers, rapists and sex attackers are among 760 foreign criminals allowed to go on the run.
The ‘dysfunctional’ department had still not managed to get a grip on the shambolic system for deporting overseas convicts, Westminster’s public accounts committee said.
In addition to the criminals who have simply vanished, 151 inmates were freed without even being considered for removal.
Meanwhile, £6.2million in compensation was paid to 229 foreign national offenders because of Home Office delays in dealing with their cases – an average of £27,000 each.
MPs were scathing about the lack of progress since 2006 when then Home Secretary Charles Clarke was forced to resign over the failure to boot out 1,000 foreign criminals.
Since then, the number of officials working on deportations has increased by 800, from 100 to 900. But, incredibly, the number of overseas convicts clogging Britain’s packed jails remains stuck at 10,000.
The annual cost of managing and removing foreign criminals is estimated at £850million. In a joint statement, committee chairman Margaret Hodge, a Labour MP, and Tory Richard Bacon made a blistering attack on the Home Office.
They said: ‘There has been a complete failure to improve the management and removal of foreign national offenders. Despite firm commitments to improve and a massive ten-fold increase in resources, the system still appears dysfunctional.’