Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The 200 foreign suspects arrested each day by London police: But as figures soar, number of deportations falls

Almost 200 foreign criminal suspects were arrested every day by the country’s largest police force last year.

Just over 72,500 – a third of the total arrested – were held by the Metropolitan Police and questioned about crimes including murder, rape,  robbery and fraud.

The figure is up almost a quarter on two years ago when 58,870 non-British suspects were arrested in London.

The rise emerged as Scotland Yard revealed it has drafted in immigration officials to all its 72 custody suites in a drive to target foreigner suspects.

Senior officers are determined to deal more effectively with the huge numbers of foreign nationals clogging up the  criminal justice system.

They want UK Border Agency staff to help send home those wanted abroad or who fail to comply with the ‘good behaviour’ conditions of their residence.

But some fear that EU nationals caught and convicted in Britain can simply return to this country after serving their sentences abroad.

The latest figures were revealed in a Freedom of Information request which showed 72,505 foreign suspects were arrested last year in the capital.

This included 79 on suspicion of murder, 708 for rape, 1,863 for robbery, 2,801 for fraud and 2,489 for burglary.

Another 2,742 were arrested because they were wanted by police, 7,524 for shoplifting and 2,516 for drink-driving after crashing their vehicle.

The rising trend is mirrored elsewhere, with the country’s second largest force, West Midlands Police, arresting 11,801 between April 2011 and March this year.

That is an increase of more than half on the previous 12 months when 7,716 foreign suspects were held.

Meanwhile, the number of foreign criminals who were convicted and deported countrywide fell from 5,342 in 2010 to 4,649 in 2011.

Senior police in London believe that at least one of five of the ‘highest harm’ offenders in the capital are non-European nationals who could be deported.

They include violent gangsters, organised criminals involved in fraud and racketeering, and predatory sex offenders.

In some cases, deported criminals have been barred from returning to Britain for up to a decade but there are fears they are able to evade border controls.

Earlier this year, a report warned that dangerous foreign criminals may be slipping through the net even when arrested as police do not carry out basic checks.

The study said officers were failing to ask about previous convictions and demanded a review of checks to ensure the public is not put at risk.

In January, a judge demanded to know why child-rapist Victor Akulic was let into Britain from Lithuania.

After arriving here, he beat and raped a woman.

He had served nine years in his home country for raping a seven-year-old he lured into his house with lemonade.

Labour immigration spokesman Chris Bryant attacked the Government’s record.

He said: ‘It’s successful prosecutions and swift deportations that count.

‘Depressingly, the Tories are removing fewer foreign offenders than before, and more are absconding.

Yet again they’re letting down the police and the public.’

A Met spokesman said the latest drive ‘is not about targeting specific communities but about us targeting criminality’.

A UKBA spokesman said: ‘Those who come to the UK must abide by our laws.

‘We will always seek to deport any foreign criminals as quickly as possible.’


New Portuguese immigration law to hamper stay of convicted Africans

The stay of Angolan convicted citizens in Portugal will be difficult on account of the new Portuguese immigration law that is coming into  force  on  Monday, as it orders the expulsion of individuals serving sentences of more than one year.

The new Portuguese law on entry, stay, exit and expulsion of foreigners from the territory orders that foreigners in Portugal sentenced to imprisonment of more than one year, shall not have their temporary and permanent residence extended.

The new law expects the expulsion of foreigners in the referred conditions and criminalisation of hiring illegal immigrants.

Angop learnt that over 200 Angolan inmates are receiving legal aid from the general consulate of Angola in Lisbon, after they were sentenced for drug dealing, document forgery, violence and others.


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