... and, yes, you can blame hu­man rights again

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Tim Ship­man and Jack Doyle

NEARLY 4,000 for­eign mur­der­ers, rapists and other crim­i­nals are roam­ing the streets, free to com­mit new crimes. The Government wants to de­port them but ad­mits that many can­not be kicked out be­cause of their hu­man rights.

A Par­lia­men­tary an­swer re­veals that 3,980 for­eign crim­i­nals who should have been sent back to their coun­try of ori­gin are ‘ liv­ing in the com­mu­nity’.

The fig­ures do not even in­clude the hand­ful of ter­ror­ist sus­pects like Abu Qatada whom the Government is seek­ing to ex­tra­dite.

Of­fi­cials say thou­sands use the Hu­man Rights Act, which guar­an­tees the ‘right to fam­ily life’, or fears about vi­o­lence in the coun­tries they left as a way of dodg­ing de­por­ta­tion. Around 800 of the for­eign crim­i­nals have been at large in Bri­tain for more than five years.

The rev­e­la­tions last night prompted calls for the Government to with­draw from the Euro­pean Con­ven­tion on Hu­man Rights so that the for­eign of­fend­ers can be sent home.

Min­is­ters ad­mit­ted last year that a string of mur­ders and sex at­tacks

have been com­mit­ted by for­eign na­tion­als who should al­ready have been kicked out.

For­eign crim­i­nals on im­mi­gra­tion bail have com­mit­ted three mur­ders, three kid­nap­pings and 14 sex­ual of­fences, in­clud­ing rape. Of­fi­cial fig­ures show that there have also been ar­rests in re­la­tion to 27 other ‘vi­o­lent crimes’ and 64 thefts.

Home Of­fice Min­is­ter Mark Harper used a Par­lia­men­tary writ­ten an­swer to re­lease the most re­cent fig­ures, recorded at the end of Septem­ber.

He said: ‘There are 3,980 for­eign na­tion­als in the UK sub­ject to de­por­ta­tion ac­tion liv­ing in the com­mu­nity. We con­tinue to pur­sue re­moval in all th­ese cases.

‘The prin­ci­pal bar­ri­ers to re­moval are non- com­pli­ance on the part of in­di­vid­u­als which means we have in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence of na­tion­al­ity and iden­tity to ob­tain a travel doc­u­ment, on­go­ing le­gal chal­lenges and the sit­u­a­tions in coun­tries of re­turn.’

Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May has is­sued new guid­ance to judges say­ing Sec­tion 8 of the Hu­man Rights Act, which guar­an­tees the right to fam­ily life, should not over­ride se­ri­ous crim­i­nal­ity in de­por­ta­tion cases.

But crit­ics say that is not enough to solve the prob­lem.

Tory MP Priti Pa­tel, who asked the Par­lia­men­tary ques­tion that led to the publi­ca­tion of the fig­ures, called for the abo­li­tion of the Hu­man Rights Act.

She said: ‘Lax im­mi­gra­tion and

‘Ex­tra­or­di­nary num­ber’

bor­der con­trols in­her­ited from the pre­vi­ous Labour government have left this mess and the cur­rent Government must take all steps nec­es­sary, in­clud­ing abol­ish­ing the Hu­man Rights Act, to get th­ese peo­ple re­moved from Bri­tain.

‘The pub­lic de­serve to have a ro­bust im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem in place to keep them safe in­stead of laws and rules de­signed to help for­eign­ers re­main in Bri­tain when they should have no right to be here.

‘Hard-pressed tax­pay­ers will be dis­gusted to learn that they are foot­ing the le­gal fees and liv­ing costs as­so­ci­ated with this num­ber of for­eign­ers over­stay­ing their wel­come.’

Sir An­drew Green, chair­man of Mi­gra­tionWatch UK, said: ‘This is an ex­tra­or­di­nary num­ber. Of­fend­ers and their lawyers are clearly play­ing the le­gal sys­tem.

‘The case for pulling out of the 60year-old ECHR gets stronger by the day.

‘The Government is try­ing to give bet­ter guid­ance to the courts but that is most un­likely to have the nec­es­sary im­pact. The only long-term so­lu­tion is to pull out of the ECHR com­pletely and write our own hu­man rights law.’

David Cameron has set up a re­view into whether a Bri­tish Bill of Rights could re­place the Hu­man Rights Act, but his Lib Dem part­ners will op­pose any move to leave the ECHR.

Min­is­ters say they are speed­ing up the de­por­ta­tion process. The av­er­age num­ber of days be­tween a for­eign na­tional of­fender fin­ish­ing his or her sen­tence and be­ing re­moved has fallen from 131 days in 2008 to 74 in 2011. A UK Bor­der Agency spokesman said: ‘We are ab­so­lutely de­ter­mined that any for­eign na­tional who fails to abide by our laws should face the con­se­quences and in 2011 we de­ported more than 4,600 for­eign crim­i­nals.’

Il­le­gal im­mi­grants in­jured five staff dur­ing a riot at a de­ten­tion cen­tre.

About 40 de­tainees were in­volved in the in­ci­dent at Mor­ton Hall im­mi­gra­tion re­moval cen­tre in Swinderby, Lin­colnshire, on De­cem­ber 30. One de­tainee was taken to hospi­tal.

Up to 50 de­tainees took part in a protest on Christ­mas Day, in which no one was hurt.

AT this time for mak­ing res­o­lu­tions, min­is­ters might re­solve to do some­thing about three sto­ries in to­day’s Mail. Will they end the mad­ness of hu­man rights laws that pro­tect nearly 4,000 freed for­eign mur­der­ers, rapists and thugs from de­por­ta­tion?

Will they stop brib­ing GPs, al­ready hand­somely paid, with huge bonuses for keep­ing pa­tients away from A&E?

And while they’re about it, will they stop frit­ter­ing tens of mil­lions on such frip­peries as a grant to pro­mote books in Welsh?

As 2013 gets go­ing, the Mail will have plenty more sug­ges­tions for restor­ing san­ity. But let th­ese three be a start.

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