Thousands of foreign prisoners are to be sent back to serve their sentences in their own countries. David Cameron, who will spearhead the cost-cutting drive, plans to tear up agreements that mean convicts cannot be returned home without their consent. As the number of foreign inmates in Britains jails approaches one in seven, the Prime Minister wants them sent back to serve prison terms in their countries of origin even if they insist they do not want to go,according to the Daily Mail. But the initiative could run into problems because convicts supported by lawyers may try to use human rights laws to stay in this country. And in the future, foreigners found guilty of offences involving official documents including possessing a fake passport or destroying a passport may be given 'conditional cautions rather than jail sentences, barring them from returning to the UK. They would be thrown out of the country so they do not end up in prison here in the first place. There are currently 11,135 foreign inmates out of a total prison population of more than 85,000, serving time for offences including murder, manslaughter, robbery, assault and drugs. Jamaica tops a league table of countries with prisoners in British jails followed by Nigeria and the Irish Republic. It costs the taxpayer 38,000 to keep someone in jail for a year, more than the fees to send a pupil to Eton. As he implements 23 per cent budget cuts, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke is having to reduce the prison population by 3,000 by 2014, rather than adding the 8,000 extra places that the previous government forecast would be needed. Downing Street hopes much of that reduction can be achieved by sending more foreign prisoners home. Mr Cameron is expected to raise the issue with the Chinese regime when he makes his first official visit to the country this week. There are 364 Chinese nationals in British jails. But his decision to put himself at the head of the effort is high risk since several countries accounting for large numbers of inmates in Britains jails are extremely reluctant to take them back and because of potential problems with human rights laws. A Coalition source said: 'The Prime Minister is determined to do everything in his power to get as many sent back to their countries of origin as possible. 'Clearly, human rights need to be taken into account so that we are not sending prisoners back if they are going to be tortured or killed. 'The Prime Minister knows this is not going to be easy, but he will be speaking to his opposite numbers in various countries and believes this will have an important effect. There is no evidence that foreign nationals are more likely overall to commit crime than Britons. Rather, the huge number of overseas nationals held in British jails reflects the number of immigrants here. Currently, foreign prisoners are removed from the country under prisoner transfer agreements between the UK and other countries; under an early removal scheme, which allows them to be released up to 270 days early if they agree to be deported immediately; or after their sentences have ended. But there are a huge number of barriers to effective removal, including the rights of appeal, which can delay or abort the process. Some prisoners who are not considered suitable for release have to be kept in even after their sentences have ended in August, there were 540 such prisoners in British jails. Only 41 foreign prisoners returned home last year under prisoner transfer agreements. In 2006, the Police and Justice Act amended the law to enable a prisoner to be transferred without his or her consent. The legal requirement now is that prisoner consent is required where the relevant international agreement requires the approval of the inmate. But a major problem is that most prisoner swap deals do still require the prisoner to consent to transfer. An EU prisoner transfer agreement, which takes effect from December next year and does not require the consent of the prisoner, should enable the return of many more people to EU countries. Separately, the Ministry of Justice is working with the UK Border Authority on plans that would see the cases of foreign prisoners flagged up earlier so they can be more quickly removed to countries where robust prisoner transfer deals already exist. 'The MoJ is also developing proposals to support the diversion of foreign offenders from prosecution for document offences by legislating to allow conditional cautions to be used as an alternative to prosecution in some cases so that they do not end up in our jails in the first place, the source added.(The Daily Mail)