The Figure of the ‘Foreign Criminal’: Race, Gender and the FNP

  • Luke de Noronha
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)


The UK’s ‘Foreign National Prisoner crisis’ erupted on 25 April 2006, when it emerged that 1023 foreign offenders (FNPs), who had been recommended for deportation by the courts or the prison service, had been released upon completion of their sentences. The FNP ‘crisis’ inspired a ‘moral panic’ (Cohen 1972), in which a range of emergency measures and new policies were hastily instituted (Kaufman 2013). After the ‘crisis’, ‘foreign criminals’ became increasingly salient in migration debates in the UK. The FNP ‘crisis’ incensed the media and politicians, who framed the issue in terms of dangerous foreign men whose hypermasculinist violence presented a severe and existential threat to the British people.

These constructions of ‘bad migrants’ relied upon race for their intelligibility and these racialised stereotypes were articulated through gender. Put simply, ‘foreign criminals’ are dangerous racialised men and the violent state practices implemented to protect the British public from these ‘monsters’—that is, prison, indefinite detention, and deportation—can only be understood in reference to the racialised and gendered stereotypes that construct them as such.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke de Noronha
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OxfordOxfordUK

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