Prison figures show 14 percent of those detained after the unrest that rocked Britain in August have been foreign nationals while another four percent are deemed to have been from EU countries.
Monday, October 24, 2011
The statistics demonstrate that 153 out of 865 people now in prison for burglary, robbery, theft, criminal damage and disorder during the incidents have been non-British citizens from 44 countries and those with “unrecorded nationality”, which often means those from the European Union. The remaining 712 were British nationals.
The Ministry of Justice has said that the released figures are “only a snapshot of the prison population on September 9.”
This comes as figures obtained under the Freedom of Information regulations reveal the government has referred another 367 “suspected foreign nationals” to the UK Border Agency for deportation.
The British police have so far arrested more than 4,000 people in connection with the unrest between August 6 and 9 which includes 2,952 arrests in London.
The jailed foreign nationals have been from such countries as Ethiopia, Cuba, Colombia, and Zimbabwe while Jamaican, Somali and Polish represented the biggest population of offenders respectively.
According to the law, criminals from non-EU countries face deportation if they receive jail terms of 12 months.
Those from EU countries should receive 24-month imprisonment sentences to face deportation.
Immigration minister Damian Green has pledged to deport foreign criminals arrested during the August unrest saying “foreign nationals who were convicted of offences during the riots will be returned home wherever possible.”
Yet, Liberal Democrats have challenged his tough approach to the detainees with the party's home affairs spokesman Tom Brakes saying London would “need to exercise caution” over the issue especially with relation to foreigners with families in Britain.