United Kingdom

Foreign criminals avoiding deportation because of human rights laws have TRIPLED since 2016

The number of foreign criminals avoiding deportation on human rights grounds has hit the highest level for five years.

Cases have nearly tripled since political pressure over abuse of human rights helped force successful claims down to a record low.

It comes amid concern about legal challenges to block deportations after dozens of Jamaican criminals had to be removed from a Home Office charter flight earlier this week.

Number of foreign criminals avoiding deportation on human rights grounds has hit the highest level for five years (file image)

When Theresa May was home secretary, she told the 2011 Tory party conference that Labour’s Human Rights Act ‘needs to go’ and that the meaning of one crucial clause had been ‘perverted’ to prevent removals.

The Home Office redoubled its efforts to fight cases in the immigration courts.

By 2016 the European Convention on Human Rights and other humanitarian laws were used in only 60 successful applications by foreign criminals. The following year they more than doubled to 144.

By 2018, the most recent whole year for which figures are available, the number reached a five-year-high of 172 – the most since 212 in 2013. In the first six months of last year alone 100 deportations were blocked on human rights grounds. If cases continued at the same rate the total was on track to reach levels not seen since 2013.

The Daily Mail obtained the troubling new data under freedom of information laws.

When Theresa May was home secretary, she told the 2011 Tory party conference (pictured) that Labour’s Human Rights Act ‘needs to go’ and that the meaning of one crucial clause had been ‘perverted’ to prevent removals

The full figures for last year are not due to be published until later this month.

Tory MP Tim Loughton, a former member of the Commons’ home affairs select committee, said: ‘Most law-abiding people will be appalled by the arbitrary rush to claim the human rights defence by serious criminals.

‘The human rights of victims who have been raped, murdered and violently assaulted are so easily disregarded by many of those offenders and even by the criminal justice system.’

He added: ‘We need to have a level playing field. Human rights are sometimes a justified legal mitigation but only in really deserving cases and it needs to be matched against the human rights of victims.

‘Human rights have too often become a one-way street for the perpetrator rather than recognising the victim is entitled to exactly the same protections.’

A last-minute legal challenge by the campaign group Deportation Action this week resulted in the removal of 25 Jamaican criminals being blocked on a technicality. A Court of Appeal judge said they could not be removed because mobile phone problems meant they could not properly instruct their lawyers.

Other offenders brought a range of legal actions preventing the Home Office from deporting more than 70 who had been due to be aboard the flight.

The Mail revealed on Thursday that among the criminals who had been due to be removed from this country were killer Fitzroy Daley and rapist Fabian Henry.

Government sources have said they fear the criminals remaining in Britain will win bail within days and be released from immigration detention centres.

The Home Office is due to defend against the Jamaica deportation legal challenge in the High Court on Monday.

A spokesman said: ‘We make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals. We will continue to fight robustly in the courts to ensure foreign criminals are removed as quickly as possible.’