LONDON (TIP): With Indian PM Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to UK slated this November, Britain has said it will negotiate with New Delhi “on every opportunity” to pack off Indian prisoners serving time in their jails.
PM David Cameron’s Indian diaspora champion Priti Patel told TOI that UK and India share a voluntary prisoner transfer agreement. “We have foreign criminals housed in jails for breaking our laws. They however should not be housed in our prisons at the expense of the British taxpayer.” This should worry New Delhi as prisons in India are already packed to the seam. Almost one in every five Asian prisoners held in jails across England and Wales are Indians.
Latest data shows Indians (407) make up the second highest number of prisoners among Asians, after those of Pakistani (509) origin.
British jails at present harbour 11,127 prisoners of foreign nationality of which 2233 are Asians. UK recently has decided to pack off 300 Jamaican prisoners serving time in its jails back to Jamaica to serve their sentences. Britain says deporting them would also mean unclogging British prisons which the government says is “quite full”.
Cameron recently said, “It is right that foreign criminals who break our laws are properly punished but this shouldn’t be at the expense of the taxpayer. That’s why this agreement is so important. The agreement provides for the transfer of prisoners who have received sentences of 4 years or more and who have 18 months or more left to serve in custody.”
The average annual cost of a prison place in the UK is £25,900. Britain’s ministry of justice says in the last 10 years, the number of foreign nationals in prison has doubled and represents over 14% of the total prison population in England and Wales. (Source: TNN)