Thirty criminals dodge deportation flight to Jamaica
More than 30 Jamaican criminals have frustrated a Home Office bid to deport them after lodging last-minute legal challenges.
Just 16 offenders from a group of 50-plus originally listed for removal are expected to board a flight to Jamaica today.
More legal challenges were expected in the final hours before the plane takes off.
Yesterday the Mail revealed the original passenger list included rapists and other criminals guilty of murder and attempted murder.
Over 30 Jamaican criminals have blocked a Home Office bid to deport them after lodging last-minute legal challenge. Pictured: Group of campaigners outside Downing Street in February
Labour politicians have been campaigning to keep all the offenders in Britain, claiming the deportation is ‘racist’.
It was unclear last night whether the sex offenders and violent criminals were among those who successfully blocked their deportation with legal challenges.
Former Labour shadow home secretary Diane Abbott had called for the flight to be stopped and claimed most of the criminals were ‘non-violent’.
None of the offenders on the list is a British citizen, but some of them have lived here since childhood.
All the offenders will have been handed at least 12 months in jail to qualify for deportation.
Ministers are required to enforce such deportations under laws passed by Labour in 2007.
The previous deportation flight to Jamaica, which took place in December, saw 23 offenders including murderers and rapists pulled off a charter plane at the last moment.
The aircraft took off with only 13 offenders aboard.
Just 16 offenders from a group of 50-plus originally listed for Home Office removal are expected to board a flight to Jamaica today
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The Government is clear that foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them.
‘The Home Office has worked closely with both the High Commission in the UK and the authorities in Jamaica and they have both been involved in the planning of the flight and we continue to work with non-governmental organisations in Jamaica that provide support on arrival for returnees.
‘We routinely operate charter flights to different countries. In 2020 only one per cent of our enforced returns were to Jamaica.’