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More than one in five crimes committed in London in the first six months of this year were carried out by a foreign citizen, new police figures have revealed.
During the period there were 22,793 crimes in the capital for which a foreign national has been charged.
More than a quarter were violent offences, ranging from murder to assault. There were also nearly 6,000 drug offences, 414 sex crimes, 522 robberies and almost 1,000 burglaries.
The highest number of offences were carried out by Poles, charged with 2,310 crimes between the start of January and the end of June.
Jamaicans, Irish nationals, Somalians and Romanians — accused of more than 1,000 crimes — had the next worst levels of offending.
The figures, released by the Met under the Freedom of Information Act, will fuel debate about the Government’s immigration policy.
Ministers insist the large influx of foreign nationals has significant economic benefits, despite concerns about the pressure on services.
But shadow immigration minister Damien Green described today’s figures as disturbing.
“This is a fairly shocking side effect of the lack of control of our borders and the sheer numbers of people coming to Britain,” he said.
The new statistics cover the number arrested and charged for “notifiable offences” — those which are more serious — and show a total of 106,678 crimes.
Of these, 82,459 were committed by Britons with a further 1,426 carried by people of “unknown” nationality, leaving foreign nationals responsible for the remaining offences.
Seven EU members — Poland, Ireland, Romania, Lithuania, France, Portugal and Italy, all of whose citizens are free to travel to Britain — feature in a list of the 20 nationalities responsible for the highest number of offences.
Among the Poles, 583 were charged with violent crimes, 32 with sex offences, 201 with burglary, 635 with theft or handling and 626 with drug offences.
Drug crime accounted for around half the Italian and French totals, while the Irish were responsible for the highest level of burglary with 403 recorded offences.
The main crime committed by Romanians, whose working rights in the UK are severely restricted, was theft or handling with 695 such offences.
Among non-EU citizens, Jamaicans have the highest level of offending with 1,750 crimes during the six month period covered by the figures.
Of these, 770 were drug offences, while there were also 425 violent crimes, 28 sex offences and 42 robberies by Jamaican passport holders.
The worst fraud total was recorded by Nigerians, with 275 crimes, while Somalian nationals were also among the most frequent offenders.
The Met’s decision to begin recording the nationality of offenders follows a Home Office request made after the row last year over the Government’s failure to consider more than 1,000 foreign national prisoners for deportation.
The sadists ‘addicted to violence’
The problem of foreign nationals committing crimes in London was highlighted when three armed robbers — all from overseas — were jailed for life for a “sadistic” campaign of violence against commuters.
The three — Jamaican Robert Lincoln, 18, of Barking, Rwandan Sofian Majera, 22, of Dagenham, and Portuguese national Peter Frota, 19, used guns, knives and baseball bats to kidnap and rob motorists and pedestrians.
Their victims were stripped of valuables, beaten and threatened with further violence unless they handed over their pin numbers.
One victim had his arm stamped on until it broke and another was tortured with a cigarette lighter, while others were threatened with having their eyes gouged out or being burnt alive.
The judge said the three, who had 36 previous convictions between them, had been “addicted to violence” as he jailed them last November.
Frota’s older brother Louis, 22, a one-time trialist for Dagenham and Redbridge FC, was also in court. He was jailed for four and a half years for lesser offences.
(Posted on August 14, 2007)