The Home Office – the UK’s department of State responsible for internal affairs – has been losing criminals and ex-criminals. According to the law here, foreign nationals who have served a sentence for a crime should be considered for deportation. Not deported, necessarily, but considered for deportation. After three reports published in the last few years had pointed out that this wasn’t happening the Home Secretary Charles Clarke has admitted to Parliament that he and his department have cocked-up and released over a thousand ex-criminals without considering deportation. Moreover, they’ve since lost track of many of these people, including rapists and murderers.
So all hell breaks loose in the press and some people call for the Home Secretary’s resignation. Everyone seems to think, though, that at least these people had served their time and were, even at worst, not being treated any differently from our own home-grown crims.
Well maybe. But in the UK a convicted murderer receives a life sentence: prisoners with life sentences who are paroled are released on a life licence and if the terms of the parole are broken the convicted murderer can be immediately recalled to prison.
So far that seems clear. Now here’s my question. How do you tell if someone’s broken their parole terms and recall them if you’ve lost track of them and don’t know where they are? Here’s how the BBC reported the Home Office’s frantic actions once the story broke:
The Home Office says that 107 have been found and it is now frantically trying to work out what happened to the remaining 900
Unless we suppose the Home Office fails effectively to track convicted murderers only of foreign nationality then it seems they have a rather larger problem on their hands, one that nobody’s talking about yet.