Their arrival in the capital is said to have led to a huge rise in thieving and prompted the creation of a specialist police squad to tackle their sinister activities.
Yet in a move which has caused disbelief amongst rank and file officers, Scotland Yard has asked staff to ‘celebrate’ the contribution of Roma gipsies to ‘London’s culture and diversity.’
In a notice posted on the force’s intranet website, Denise Milani, director of the Met’s ‘Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate’, urges officers to observe the first ever ‘Gipsy Roma Traveller History Month.’
Ignoring the huge drain on resources caused by Romanian pickpockets who target commuters and tourists in the West End, Miss Milani—a protege of Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair—says Roma gipsies are welcome in the capital.
She says: ‘We welcome the celebration of the community’s history and contributions to London’s culture and diversity.
‘The Met Police works to make London a safer city for all and we are committed to understanding and working with all communities, including the Gipsy Roma Traveller community.
‘The Gipsy Roma Traveller History month celebrates their history, culture and contributions to the rich tapestry of Britain’s diversity.’
The mother-of-two’s comments were described as ‘political correctness off the Richter scale’ by one furious detective. He added: ‘What planet is this lady living on? We have been run ragged by gangs of Romanian gipsies who are targeting innocent people in the West End.
‘How is that enhancing the rich tapestry of cultural life in Britain?’
Following the expansion of the European Union, the number of Romanian criminals known to police in central London rose from 12 in 2006 to 214 last year.
Earlier this year, police staged a dramatic series of dawn raids in Slough, Berkshire, in a campaign to stamp out a Fagin-style crime ring involving Romanian slave children smuggled into Britain.
Ten children were taken into care and 24 of their suspected controllers arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and organising theft involving up to £1billion a year. Many of those arrested were understood to be Roma gipsies.
The youngsters ranged in age from less than one to 17. Many such children are made to travel to central London every day and carry out crimes including pickpocketing, credit card cloning and theft.
Police have estimated that each active Romanian criminal makes about £100,000 a year—most of which is channelled back to his home country to fund luxury cars and homes.