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    Almost 60 Foreign Criminals Missing in UK After Prison Release: National Audit Office

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    Some 58 foreign criminals, including murderers and rapists, are missing after being freed from jail in the United Kingdom, a National Audit Office report says.

    MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Some 58 foreign criminals, including murderers and rapists, are missing after being freed from jail in the United Kingdom, a National Audit Office report says.

    "… 395 absconders have been missing since before 2010, of which 58 are high harm individuals," a report on foreign national offenders published Wednesday said.

    "The Department's work to trace absconders is matched by the inflow of new cases," the National Audit Office report added.

    The report, "Managing and removing foreign national offenders," found that many foreign national offenders (FNOs) released into the community do not report to police stations or immigration centers every week as required by their conditions of release. Criminals whose whereabouts are unknown are reclassified as absconders.

    Some one in six FNOs, or 760 people, have absconded up till the end of March, a six percent increase since 2010, according to the National Audit Office. Over half of those absconded, some 395 released criminals, have been missing since 2010, 58 of whom are considered "high harm offenders."

    The department responsible for finding missing FNOs claims a lack of resources and bureaucratic restrictions have hindered their efforts. The 11-person team has a caseload of over 700 FNOs, over double the average caseloads of similar teams in the department, according to the report. Bureaucratic restrictions include a limit to 250 search requests per month by HM Revenue & Customs, which is both timely and costly.

    FNOs can be released into the community at the end of their sentence if an immigration judge has granted bail, a court has ordered their release or the department has decided to grant their release due to deportation issues.

    There are some 12,250 FNOs in England and Wales in prison or living in the community after prison pending removal, as of March. Some 850 million GBP ($1.37 billion) in public funds has been allocated to the managing and removing of FNOs in 2013-14.

    Tags:
    prison, National Audit Office (NAO), Wales, England
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