31 foreign riots convicts are told they can stay in Britain
Ross Lydall 11 February 2013
Only 15 of more than 200 foreigners involved in the London riots have been deported, it was revealed today.
The UK Border Agency has also admitted that 31 offenders have been told they can remain in the country.
People from 44 nations including Jamaica, Somalia and Poland were convicted of offences ranging from robbery and burglary to theft and criminal damage during the riots in August 2011.
Ministers promised to kick out the foreign criminals “at the earliest opportunity”.
However, a freedom of information response has revealed that of 201 cases passed to UKBA, just 15 convicts have left the country, while 28 have been given permission to stay as they “do not meet deportation criteria” and three others have been allowed to remain after legal appeals.
Three have absconded and another 53 are at large but classed as “still being considered for deportation”. A total of 63 are still in prison or in immigration detention awaiting deportation.
Some 31 have been given temporary admission while their cases are considered. Five are waiting to be sentenced.
EU laws prevent the deportation of EU citizens sentenced to less than two years’ prison. Non-EU nationals do not qualify for automatic deportation unless jailed for at least 12 months.
Immigration minister Mark Harper said: “We are pursuing deportation in scores of cases”.
1 hour ago
It is scandalous that convicted criminals who have no right to be in this country cannot be deported. It is about time something was done to change things but it will never happen. We will soon be overrun by Romanians and Bulgarians whose major export is organised crime and we will not be able to stop any of them coming in to leech on our benefits system and literally pick our collective pockets.