The Sun: The 5,000 crooks we can’t deport (including Benny Wenda of Oxford ?)

The Sun

MORE than 5,000 foreign criminals who should have been flung out of Britain are still here — with most claiming deportation would breach their human rights.

Figures show that 3,775 offenders who should have been sent back home were released from custody to live in communities.

More than 1,600 remained locked up after completing their sentence and 12 are missing after being released from court or referred incorrectly.

Home Secretary Theresa May, who wants to change the rules preventing deportation, said the problem lies with how British courts interpret Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

She said a right to a family life was not “absolute” and could not be allowed to “drive a coach and horses through our immigration system”.

Inspectors also found a “significant disparity” between how the UK Border Agency and the courts interpret whether a foreign prisoner can remain in the UK.

Rulings in 425 deportation cases were overturned, with the majority on human rights grounds — compared to just 151 offenders who were given permission to stay in the first place.

A report on the findings said the UKBA must cut the number of overruled deportation decisions and end the cycle of appeals that bump up the cost to taxpayers.

John Vine, the independent chief inspector of the UKBA, said: “More must be done to actively manage these cases — they represent a growing cost to the taxpayer and cannot be ignored.”

He added: “The agency can still improve the way it handles foreign national prisoners.

“A significant number of appeals continue to be allowed against decisions to deport, in most cases because deportation would breach the UK’s obligation to the individual under the Human Rights Act.

“The agency must work to reduce the number of decisions overturned on appeal and take full account of the courts’ decisions in deciding whether deportation action is appropriate or whether it would breach a person’s rights under Article 8.

“If not, there will continue to be a cycle of appeals, at considerable cost to the taxpayer even though the outcome will eventually be that the foreign national prisoner is entitled to remain in the UK.”

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “This Government is tackling the problems of the past — we are starting the deportation process earlier and removing foreign criminals quicker than ever.”

He added: “For too long Article 8 has been used to place the family rights of foreign criminals above the rights of the British public, which is why we will change the immigration rules to ensure a better balance.”

    

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