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Tory MPs call for migrant crime ‘league tables’ based on nationality

Tory MPs call for migrant crime ‘league tables’ based on nationality

Migrant nationalities with the highest rates of crime could be ranked under government plans to toughen up visa and deportation policies.

Robert Jenrick, the former immigration minister, has put forward an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill that would see the nationality, visa and asylum status of every offender convicted in English and Welsh courts published on an annual basis in crime “league tables”.

A small group of around 12 Tory MPs support the amendment, details of which were first reported in The Daily Telegraph.

It comes days after figures showed the number of migrants crossing the Channel to the UK so far in 2024 had reached a record high for the first three months of a calendar year.

A government source said ministers “will certainly look properly at this amendment and engage with colleagues in the usual way”, although the newspaper reported there were concerns over the practicality of implementing the proposal.

Mr Jenrick told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that there was “significant and growing” evidence that the UK was importing crime – and that the nationality of migrants was already being taken into account on visa applications.

He added: “What I’m proposing is that this data on crime plays a part in that. We would want to apply a higher level of scrutiny to nationalities that are higher risk.”

The latest Home Office figures show there were 10,300 foreign nationals in prisons in England and Wales, which is around 12 per cent of the total prison population.

Robert Jenrick is proposing the crime ‘league tables’ system in a bid to toughen up visa policies (UK Parliament/Maria Unger /PA)
Robert Jenrick is proposing the crime ‘league tables’ system in a bid to toughen up visa policies (UK Parliament/Maria Unger /PA)

The Refugee Council has said asylum rules in the UK are already “very stringent”. The group, speaking to the BBC, said serious criminals were not allowed to stay in the country.

But speaking to GB News, Mr Jenrick said: “I think that the public want to know who’s coming into our country and what the economic, the fiscal and the societal impact of immigration is.

“There are people coming to this country who do us harm. There are people coming from countries who don’t share our Western liberal values and attitudes towards women and minorities, and we need to be open and honest about that.”

He also claimed that prime minister Rishi Sunak “didn’t want to talk about” curbing legal migration when he and former home secretary Suella Braverman repeatedly tried to raise the issue – a claim contested by Downing Street sources.

Mr Sunak has been under pressure from MPs on the right of his party to take action since revised official estimates published in November indicated the net migration figure – the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving Britain – reached a record 745,000 in 2022.

The government is already introducing a raft of restrictions in a bid to cut the number of people legally arriving in Britain, including a ban on overseas care workers bringing family dependents to the UK and a hiked salary threshold for skilled workers to £38,700.

Home secretary James Cleverly has asked the Migration Advisory Committee to review the graduate route for international students, while the minimum income requirement for family visas is being raised to £29,000 from April 11 and to £38,700 by early 2025.

Mr Sunak has previously vowed to “do what is necessary” to bring net migration down.