LONDON: Almost 350 foreign criminals and immigration offenders were removed from the UK by the Home Office during October.
The regular schedule of returns flights is an important strand of the government’s work to keep the public safe and tackle illegal migration, by speeding up the return of foreign criminals and illegal migrants with no right to be in the UK.
Last month’s removals include 22 people who were directly removed to their home country from Manston, the migrant processing centre in Kent.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said:
The number of people reaching the UK illegally in small boats is at an all-time high and is putting our asylum system under intense strain.
By returning hundreds of people coming here illegally and dangerous foreign criminals in this way, we are sending a clear message that those with no right to be in the UK are not welcome here.
I have been clear that I am exploring every avenue at my disposal to accelerate their removal.
A total of 347 people were removed on five charter and multiple scheduled flights last month.
This included 230 foreign national offenders who were convicted of serious crimes including rape, assault, drug offences, possession of an offensive weapon and illegal entry.
The Home Office also returned 117 immigration offenders in October, including two people who arrived via small boats and were removed within 24 days, and another person who was removed within 27 days.
Of the 347 people returned, 118 were to Albania, 39 to Brazil, 38 to Romania, 26 to Poland, 20 to Lithuania, among returns to over 40 other countries.
To date this year, the UK has removed over 10,400 individuals via enforced and voluntary returns, including over 2,500 foreign national offenders. Within that time, the French authorities have prevented over 29,000 crossings and destroyed over 1,000 small boats.
The Home Office has arrested 244 people since the Nationality and Borders Act became law in June. A total of 175 people have been charged, and 94 have received convictions amounting to total combined sentences of 53 years. Of the 244 arrests, 72 have been for facilitation of small boats crossings.
As part of government’s wider work to tackle illegal migration, the Home Office announced on Sunday that it was rolling out a successful pilot which doubled the number of asylum cases progressed per week by streamlining and digitising the system to speed up processes. This resulted in faster decisions, in turn helping to save money, and the pilot will now be rolled out across the UK to help tackle the backlog of people awaiting a decision on their claim.
Figures for recent returns totals are sourced from provisional operational data. Comprehensive statistics on returns are published in the Home Office quarterly immigration statistics and migration transparency data, and the latest available data was published on 25 August.