§ Mr. Greg Knight
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of those currently charged with criminal offences in the United Kingdom are in the country illegally. 
§ Mr. Bob Ainsworth
[holding answer 14 January 2003]: Information on the number of persons charged is not collected centrally within England and Wales.
Information held centrally on the number of persons arrested for notifiable offences within England and Wales does not identify either the nationality or the immigration status of the arrestee.
Where a person subject to immigration control who has been arrested in connection with a minor offence is found to be present in the United Kingdom without leave and can be removed immediately, our normal policy would be to remove them rather than to institute criminal proceedings.
Data for persons charged with criminal offences within Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly respectively.