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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
In full: Statement on re-offending
Here is the full text of the statement read out by Home Secretary Charles Clarke about the foreign prisoners released without being considered for deportation:

Last Wednesday I promised the House of Commons that today I would publish an update on the offenders who were originally imprisoned for more serious offences. This afternoon I have written to the speaker with this update.

Seventy-nine offenders were originally imprisoned for more serious offences of which 13 were for murder, manslaughter, rape or child sex offences.

All of these 79 were and are on the Police National Computer and all who should be subject to licensing and probation supervision were subject to the appropriate regimes in the same way British nationals would have been.

In all but seven of these cases, consideration of deportation has been completed and deportation action has been started in respect of 63 of them, including all those guilty of the most serious offences.

Six have been detained pending deportation or removal and further arrests are expected later today and over the weekend.

A thorough search of police, prison and probation records has to date revealed five cases where an individual has been convicted of a further offence. These included drugs offences, violent disorder, grievous or actual bodily harm, but not any of the most serious offences I listed earlier.

The work of putting these decisions into effect and consideration of further cases is proceeding energetically and will continue over the weekend.

As I told the House of Commons earlier this week, I very much regret the shortcomings which I have reported. However, in light of some of the comments which have been made, I have to make it clear that the Home Office is in the process of dramatic change to enable us to meet the challenges of the modern world effectively.

We are focusing ruthlessly on our three key functions: of policing and counter-terrorism; protecting the public and reducing offending; and controlling asylum and immigration.

In each area we are making profound changes with new leadership to meet the challenges we face.

I am committed to lead the changes and improvements which the community rightly expects of us and to build on the many successes which have already been achieved.

These include deportation of about 3,000 foreign national prisoners over the last two years. But the truth is that real and profound change does take time and often reveals matters that have been hidden or lain dormant in an organisation.

The genuine shortcomings which have been revealed in dealing with foreign national prisoners will be repaired and we will learn the lessons to make whatever further changes are needed to improve the quality of what we do across the whole Home Office.

I will continue to report regularly to Parliament and the public on the progress we make.



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Watch Home Secretary Charles Clarke's statement



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