Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The migrants who commit 500 crimes a week but can't be deported from Britain because they're from the EU

European migrants are committing over 500 crimes a week in Britain, according to new figures - but officials are powerless to deport the majority of offenders. More than 54,000 EU citizens have been convicted of criminal offences - including murder - in the past two years.

And the worst offenders have been named as the Poles and Romanians - further fuelling concerns over the most recent EU expansions.

However because of the European Union's rules on freedom of movement, only a handful of those offenders - those who have received a prison sentence of at least two years - can be deported.

The alarming figures published by the Daily Telegraph come following reports last week that the number of crimes committed by foreigners in the UK had virtually doubled in the past two years.

Police have also warned that the foreign offenders are adding pressure to their resources, often due to language barriers. One police leader said that even a simple caution could take six hours to issue to a foreigner who did not speak English.

A spokesperson from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said, 'The growing number of new communities has certainly brought greater complexity to the pattern of crime and have contributed to already stretched resources. 'As police, we have to adapt all the time to deal with new and emerging problems. However we pride ourselves on our strong relationships within our local communities and the way we deal with the issues that emerge.'

Under data exchange systems in the EU, police in the UK will notify another member state if one of its citizens is convicted of a crime. Figures from ACPO show that 27,056 such notifications were made in 2010 while the 2009 figures are slightly higher at 27.379. That is an average equivalent of 520 a week or 75 a day. Topping the list of worst offenders were Polish migrants, who were convicted of 6,777 crimes in 2010, followed by the Romanians at 4,343. Lithuania, Ireland and Latvia had the next highest rates.

The figures show that with the exception of Ireland, the worst offenders came from countries that only joined the EU recently. Poland, Latvia and Lithuania joined the EU on May 1 2004, while Romania followed on January 1 2007.

Details regarding the nature of offences committed or sentences given have not been released.

The Home Office told the Telegraph it was 'committed to removing foreign lawbreakers from the UK'. 'We removed 5,235 foreign national prisoners in 2010,' a spokesman said.

David Cameron has previously promised to tackle the issue. In a speech he made before becoming Prime Minister he promised to introduce powers to deport more foreign criminals.

However many are still allowed to remain in the UK such as Learco Chindamo, the Italian killer of headmaster Philip Lawrence, who was charged with robbery months after being released from prison for the crime. Chindamo had avoided being sent home to Italy after successfully arguing that deportation would infringe his human rights.


Italy quarrels with EU partners over Libyan migrants

Italy quarreled with other European Union governments on Monday over how to handle thousands of migrants fleeing violence in north Africa, while the EU executive urged the bloc to do more for the refugees.

Divisions have deepened among the 27 EU governments on how to tackle the refugee crisis in the region, with some capitals worried that offering shelter to too many migrants will encourage more to attempt illegal entry to Europe.

But the European Commission has said EU capitals need to overcome differences and prepare to resettle some of the almost half a million people displaced by violence so far.

Italy has borne the brunt of the crisis and wants other EU governments to help it care for some 25,000 people who have arrived on its shores as a result of turmoil in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.

At a meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg to discuss migration pressures, Italy's Roberto Maroni accused his counterparts of failing to show solidarity with Rome. "Italy has been left alone," he said. "I wonder whether in this situation it makes sense to remain in the European Union."

Most EU governments say people arriving in Italy are mostly economic migrants seeking jobs in Europe, and not asylum seekers or refugees in need of international protection.

They say Rome should be able to deal with them, and have reacted angrily to Italy's decision to start offering them temporary residence permits that would allow them to travel freely in most of the EU. "I was quite dissatisfied with Italy's surprise decision to pass on its problems to all the others without prior notice," Dutch minister for immigration and asylum Gerd Leers said.

Austria's interior minister Maria Fekter said Vienna would investigate how it can stop migrants from crossing its borders. "We will look into what extent we will recognize visas issued by Italians, especially whether we allow in people who cannot feed themselves," she said. "This would be a feeding ground for crime which I cannot allow."

However, the EU's home affairs commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, warned EU governments would have to consider taking in more people from north Africa in the future, while stressing the bloc had already assisted Italy with funds and equipment.

She pressed interior ministers to offer shelter to thousands of refugees stranded at Libya's border with Tunisia, mostly poor foreign workers from Asia and other parts of Africa who had worked on Libya's oil fields and construction sites. Aid agencies have repatriated most of them to their countries of origin but several thousand, such as Somalis and Eritreans, cannot be sent back because of unrest at home. "There is war in Libya and more people will flee. We need to prepare," she told reporters.

Malmstrom has failed to secure sufficient offers from EU capitals to resettle 800 people stranded on Malta, a tiny EU member state. "Resettlement from Tunisia is a no-go area for most EU states. It is politically unrealistic," said an EU diplomat familiar with Monday's discussions.

Ministers agreed on Monday on the need to find more cash for the bloc's border control agency, Frontex, to strengthen its ability to patrol the Mediterranean Sea.


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