Britain bribes foreign prisoners to return homes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LONDON - Criminals from other countries who have been serving in British prisons have been offered 1,500 pounds each as “bribe” if they agree to return their home, a media report said.

Foreign rapists and muggers are being offered cash. When they leave they receive a cash card loaded with 500 pounds. A further 1,000 pounds of cash will be payable within the first three months of their arrival home, the Daily Mail reported.

Details of the controversial “bribes” emerged after Prime Minister David Cameron promised to get foreign convicts go home rather than clog Britain’s jails.

The payment is three times more than the amount that was offered by the previous Labour Party government, which had a similar scheme to send foreign convicts home.

The offer is also available to criminals who have served their entire sentence in Britain - at a cost of 45,000 pounds a year. They will get a cash payment of 750 pounds.

The Tories, when in opposition, had criticised the scheme as “simply outrageous”. Dominic Grieve, then Conservative justice spokesman, said: “The lesson is clear: under Labour, crime pays and the taxpayer foots the bill.”

But now the Coalition government of Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats says the scheme will save money, because it is cheaper than forcibly removing foreign criminals or leaving them in jail.

“The facilitated returns scheme is a practical solution that not only saves the taxpayer money in the long run, but also means foreign criminals are removed as soon as possible denying them the opportunity to re-offend or drag out the removal process with frivolous appeals,” Immigration Minister Damian Green was quoted as saying.

Officials have struggled for years to deport foreign convicts and more than 11,000 are currently taking up space in Britain’s packed jails. Last year, 5,535 foreign prisoners were deported, of whom 30 percent received financial incentives.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister David Cameron, who was in China on a two-day visit, held “positive” talks in Beijing about returning the 364 Chinese inmates in British jails.

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