Tom Whitehead, Daily Express (London), February 11, 2008
THE full extent of the damage unlimited immigration is causing to the fabric of society is revealed by a Daily Express investigation today.
Figures show that a foreigner is being arrested every four minutes on the streets of Britain.
Hundreds of migrants and other visitors are held every day as a devastating result of the Government’s open door policy.
In some forces, arrests of foreigners account for one in seven of all those detained. Poles have now become the worst foreign offenders after hundreds of thousands flocked here following Labour’s decision to throw open our jobs market.
Alan Gordon, vice-chairman of the Police Federation, said: “Immigration on the scale we have experienced is putting an intolerable strain on all public sectors, not only policing. We have got to recognise the need for additional resources where there are large congregations of migrant workers.”
The Daily Express investigation presents the most detailed picture yet of the impact immigration is having on crime levels and police resources.
It shows that violence is one of the most common offences committed by migrants, along with theft, fraud, immigration violations and drugs. The revelation comes just a week after three police chiefs warned that the influx of migrant workers has contributed to a crime explosion.
The problem has become so acute that the Home Secretary has called a summit meeting with all 43 chief constables to address the issue.
But rank-and-file police last night blamed the Government for failing to see the problem coming, while opposition MPs stepped up calls for an annual limit on migrants.
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: “This clearly demonstrates the impact that Labour’s chaotic immigration policy is having on police resources.
“This is why Labour must adopt our policy of controlling immigration. This means putting transitional arrangements in place for future EU countries and setting an annual limit on non-EU immigration.
“When setting this limit, the Government should take into account the impact of immigration not just on the economy, but on housing and the wider public service infrastructure, including police capability to cope with any population increase.”
Figures from 26 police forces received under the Freedom of Information Act showed that a total of 79,308 foreign nationals were arrested in 2006—the latest year for which figures are available. They represented seven per cent of the total number of arrests.
If the level of arrests was reflected across the remaining forces which failed to supply information, it would mean more than 131,100 foreigners arrested in one year. That is the equivalent of up to 360 a day, or one every four minutes.
In the Cambridgeshire and Met force areas, foreign arrests accounted for 15 per cent of all detentions that year—the equivalent of one in seven.
Polish migrants account for the most arrests, with more than 7,300 detained across 18 forces alone.
It is a result of the huge influx of Eastern Europeans since the expansion of the EU in 2004 and the Government’s decision to provide full access to the jobs market.
Up to 500,000 Poles have officially arrived, but experts believe that the true number is far higher.
Lithuanians and Latvians, two other new EU members, also appear in the top 10 nationalities for arrests across the 18 forces which provided a breakdown.
A Tory MP warned that gypsy children are worth as much as £100,000 a year each to immigrant crime lords who use them to steal and to milk the benefits system.
At least 2,000 Roma children are thought to be involved—many too young to be prosecuted even if they are caught.
Conservative Anthony Steen also said the number of Romanian criminals had soared by 786 per cent in London alone, while Bulgarian offenders had rocketed by about 250 per cent.
The Daily Express research also provided an alarming picture of the prevalence of violence among foreigners in Britain.
A dozen forces provided a de tailed breakdown of why suspects had been arrested. Some form of violence, from affray to assaults to murder, appeared in the top five of every one.
Theft, fraud, immigration and drugs were also all prevalent, while sex crimes appeared in the top five offences among three forces.
Mr Gordon of the Police Federa tion said: “The Govern ment’s policy on immigration does not take into account the fact that immigration on the scale we have experienced is putting an intol erable strain on all public sectors, not only policing.
“I am aware the Home Secretary is calling a summit meeting and we have got to recognise the need for additional resources in parts of the country where there are large congregations of migrant workers.”
He stressed it is vital that not all migrant workers are stigmatised with links to crime and said only a small minority are responsible for the majority of offences.
The Government’s immigration policy and its impact on our towns and communities is under an intense spotlight.
One prediction estimates there will be 9.1million immigrants by 2030—up from 5.4million at present.
Last month Northamptonshire Chief Constable Peter Maddison admitted that his force was under unworkable pressure because of the growth in migrant workers. He spoke out days after the Chief Constable of Kent, Mike Fuller, warned that his force was facing pressures on issues such as translation costs.
He said migration surges had contributed to an increase of more than a third in violent crime over five years to 7,800 incidents last year.
Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Julie Spence has also revealed that her force is struggling to control the disorder resulting from mass immigration. She said she needed more resources to deal with the influx of Eastern Europeans.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has now written to all chief constables asking for an urgent summit on links between immigration and crime.
She has also asked the Migration Impact Forum, which is examining the effects of immigration on our communities, to investigate the impact on crime levels.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The vast majority of people who come to the UK play by our rules.
“However, we have made it perfectly clear that anyone breaking the law, irrespective of whether they are a British citizen or a foreign national, can expect prosecution and, where appropriate, a custodial sentence.
“We are listening to the concerns of the police. The police service has benefited from a significant increase in resources over the last decade, with spending rising by nearly £5billion from £6.2billion to £11billion.
“The police funding formula is used to make an assessment of the relative demands placed on each police authority.
“It’s vital that we take the social impact of immigration into account.
“This is why we set up the Migration Impacts Forum, so public services such as the police can help to shape our tough points system, which will be introduced in around 60 days’ time.”