How it can take EIGHT guards to escort one prisoner on a deportation flight from Britain

How it can take EIGHT guards to escort one prisoner on a deportation flight from Britain: Figures reveal shocking rise in number of taxpayer-funded staff it takes to remove disruptive criminals and illegal immigrants

  • The number of taxpayer-funded staff per deportee has increased since 2016 
  • In that time 5,304 foreigners have been deported on 151 flights from the UK 
  • It can take up to eight guards to deport just one deportee on a UK flight
  • The UK is estimated to spend £200million on deportation flights by 2024

Guards outnumber passengers by up to eight to one on deportation flights that send crooks and illegal immigrants out of Britain.

Home Office figures show the proportion of taxpayer-funded staff to deportees on chartered flights has been rising since 2016, in part because more deportees are becoming increasingly disruptive, requiring extra staff to handle them.

In days gone by four years, 5,304 foreigners – most of them convicted criminals that have finished jail terms – have been deported on 151 flights from the UK. 

It can take eight guards to escort just one prisoner all through a deportation flight from Britain, according to Home Office figures


An asylum claim has still perhaps not been resolved after very nearly eight years, the Government has admitted.

In a written response to a parliamentary question, Home Office Minister Chris Philp said the oldest outstanding claim goes to August 23, 2012 –just days after the London Olympics finished.

‘There are cases where more complex issues arise around a claimant’s entitlement to asylum and there is a need for us to participate in wider stakeholder involvement,’ wrote Mr Philp, who became an MP very nearly three years following the claim was submitted. 

‘These cases continue to be processed as quickly as possible, but the Secretary of State has to be satisfied our decisions are compliant with the 1951 Refugee Convention… as this is a mandatory requirement.’

Official figures show that at the time of March in 2010, 51,906 asylum cases were awaiting an initial decision or review. Of those, 31,516 had been waiting more than half a year. The UK received 35,566 asylum applications a year ago.


They have already been accompanied by 12,677 taxpayer-funded staff – the equivalent of 2.4 for each deportee. More than three-quarters of the flights went to Albania, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana.

In 2016, there have been on average twice as many contractors, medical staff and Home Office officials as deportees on flights that year. 

By 2019, this had risen to more than three for each foreign national and in the time up to April in 2010, it was on average more than four.

And for some individual flights, it was even higher. A chartered aircraft to France on January 30 in 2010, for example, had 33 staff overseeing the deportation of four people. 

A flight the prior day to Nigeria and Ghana involved 45 staff for seven returnees.

Lucy Moreton, of the Immigration Services Union, said: ‘It’s are more common for foreign nationals to seek to disrupt a standard removal flight. It used to be possible to put somebody on a flight with no escort. 

‘The more it gets reported that [the disruption has] happened successfully, it spreads. A couple of years ago [deportees] used to just shout, then they took to taking their clothes off. 

‘The amount of staff depends on the type of the flight and the individuals. It’s risk-assessed depending on who you’ve got going.’

The Government estimates it will spend £200 million on deportation tickets and charter flights between 2017 and 2024. 

Earlier this year, it emerged that the cost of four charter flights to send deportees to Germany, France, Switzerland and Kosovo in 2019 was £443,089 – very nearly £12,000 for each of the 37 people being kicked from the UK. 

It is understood the UK Government will spend £200million on deportation tickets and flights before 2024

It is comprehended great britain Government will spend £200million on deportation tickets and flights before 2024

About 12,000 migrants are forcibly removed from the UK each year, with a further 20,000 leaving voluntarily.

Last night, a spokesman for the Home Office said: ‘We make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals and immigration offenders, making enforced returns by both charter flights and regular scheduled services.

‘A decision on the number of escorts used for any removal will be based on factors including whether we expect violence or disruption during the escort operation and on the flight itself.’


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