£7m bill for 224 foreign cons in Scots jails last year


AT LEAST 227 foreign criminals served time in Scottish jails last year – 131 of them from EU countries.

Nearly half of the EU prisoners were Polish, in line with Poles being the biggest population of non UK-born people in the country.

After the sixty Polish prisoners, Lithuanians were the most numerous in Scottish jails, with 23 recorded in 2015.

There were also 14 Irish nationals, as well as 13 Romanian, 7 Italians and six Latvians.

The huge range of crimes included culpable homicide, rape, robbery, assault, fraud and housebreaking as well as attempted extortion.

Also mentioned were breach of the peace, and offences under the Terrorism Act.

The stats show that an overwhelming number of prisoners lack basic skills
The stats show that a large number of prisoners in Scotland are from abroad


They even included the ancient Scottish crime of “hamesucken” – the offence of pursuing someone into their home to assault them.

At least another 96 from outside the EU also languished behind bars, including 11 Albanians, 12 Nigerians, 12 Pakistanis, nine Vietnamese and six Somalians.

But there were none from China, Egypt or Morocco.

Figures released in the Scottish Prison Service’s annual report reveal its costs an average of £33,153 per prisoner per year, giving a bill for jailed foreign criminals of at least £7.52m.

The precise figures are difficult to establish because the SPS, in its FOI response, refused to give exact numbers of prisoners in case where there were fewer than five of that nationality.

Crimes included rape, assault to severe injury, abduction and attempted murder.

Earlier this year, 24-year old Polish national Robert Buczek was found guilty of killing 85-year old Eleanor Whitelaw by stabbing her seven times in the neck with a pair of scissors at her Edinburgh home.

The numbers highlight the task faced by Police Scotland, who said in June they have stepped up action against foreign criminals thanks to the International Assistance Unit.

In the last year, they have sent 100 foreign ­criminals back to their country of origin.

This was either because they were ­re-offenders or already had ­convictions for rape, violence and other serious offences.

A Scottish Prison Service spokeswoman said: “The number of foreign nationals in Scottish prisons is low compared with the rest of the UK.

“If someone is due to be deported at the end of their sentence this is a matter for the judiciary and we would hand an individual over to the UK border agency as required.”