Scotland takes in largest number of Syrian refugees

Refugees who fled Syria for camps in Greece were among those resettled in the UK.  AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images

Refugees who fled Syria for camps in Greece were among those resettled in the UK. AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDISSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images

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More than 4,000 refugees arrived in Britain in the first year of the Government’s expanded Syrian resettlement scheme.

Home Office figures show that 4,162 people were resettled under the initiative in the year to the end of September, with Scotland taking the largest number of Syrian refugees.

Last year Ministers committed to take in 20,000 Syrians driven from the war-torn country by 2020 following a public outcry over the fate of those attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean.

Statistics show arrivals under initiative were at the highest quarterly level so far in the three months to September, with 1,516 people resettled around the country.

Half (49%) of those resettled under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme were under 18 years old (2,059), and around the same proportion (48%) were female (1,989).

Those brought to Britain have been resettled across 175 different local authorities in the year from October 2015 - up from 118 in the first nine months.

Coventry has received the highest number of refugees out of local authority areas so far, with 161.

Regionally, Scotland has taken in the most Syrian refugees under the scheme, with 1,147 - more than a quarter of the total.

Earlier this year a Commons committee report warned of a “two tier system” in relation to the programme, which is voluntary for town halls, after figures showed some had taken in dozens while others had received none.

Spending watchdogs have estimated the total cost of the scheme could top £1.7billion.

In an assessment published in September the National Audit Office also warned that a shortage of housing and school places could pose a threat to the chances of meeting the pledge.

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