Convicted foreign criminals are costing the British taxpayers £850 million, according to a new report.
It estimated that public bodies spent £850 million in 2013/14, managing and removing foreign national offenders, working out at around £70,000 per offender.
Thousands of the convicts remain in the UK instead of being deported and one convict in six absconds and their whereabouts are unknown. Among those are 58 ‘high alert’ criminals who have been missing since 2010.
There are currently 4,200 foreign criminals living within UK communities, with thousands of offenders setting up home in the country instead of being deported.
The National Audit Office reported the number of foreign prisoners has risen by 4 per cent since 2006 and the number of deportations has fallen. It currently takes 3,319 days to deport an overseas criminal.
Amyas Morse, of the National Audit Office, said: “It is no easy matter to manage foreign national offenders in the UK and to deport those who have completed their sentences.
“However, too little progress has been made, despite the increased resources and effort devoted to this problem.”
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “The countless appeals and re-appeals lodged by criminals attempting to cheat the system cost us all money and are an affront to British justice.
“That is why we are putting a stop to that abuse through the Immigration Act.
“New powers came into force this week to cut the number of grounds on which criminals can appeal their deportation and to end the appeals’ conveyor belt in the courts.
“The Immigration Act will help us deliver an immigration system that is fair to the people of this country and legitimate immigrants and tough on those who flout the rules.”