More than 27,000 crimes were committed by EU citizens in the UK last year and more than 30,000 are expected this year, The Telegraph reports.
And because of EU rules and human rights laws only a fraction of the criminals are removed from the country.
It will fuel concerns over the impact of immigration on towns and cities, especially following the two most recent EU expansions in to Eastern Europe.
Critics this week said the restrictive EU rules that prevent removals must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Dominic Raab, the Tory MP who unearthed the figures, said: “Far from helping us tackle crime, the current straitjacket EU arrangements for securing our borders, deportation and law enforcement are imposing a massive net burden on policing and prison cells.”
Under data exchange systems in the EU, police here notify another member state if one of its citizens has been convicted of a crime.
In 2007, there were 10,736 such notifications but by 2010 there were 27,563.
In the first seven months of 2011 there were 19,164 alerts which means, if the trend continues at the same rate, there could be more than 32,000 by the end of the year.
Figures for last year also showed that Poles and Romanians were the worst offenders, accounting for 6,777 and 4,343 crimes respectively.
But because of EU rules on freedom of movement, only those sentenced to at least two years in prison face deportation after they complete their punishment.
A probation memo in 2007 suggested removals could be even more difficult when it claimed an EU directive meant only those who pose a “present, genuine and sufficiently serious threat” to society should be removed.
Criminals have also successfully used human rights laws such as the right to family life to prevent deportation.
In 2010, just 1,480 EU citizens were removed from the UK but there is no breakdown of how many were due to criminal activity.
Removals averaged just over 1,000 during the three previous years.
Mr Raab said the rise has come following the last EU expansion when Romania and Bulgaria joined in 2007.
He added: “This staggering increase in the number of crimes committed by EU nationals in Britain, since Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU suggests, highlights a hidden cost of further EU enlargement that must be properly debated.”
It emerged in June that foreign criminals have more protection under human rights laws than innocent Britons fighting extradition.
Offenders fighting deportation are able to use human rights defences to avoid removal whereas Britons facing transfer under extradition laws find it almost impossible to do so, the joint parliamentary committee on human rights suggested. Source: Telegraph.
Comment on Bulgarian and Romanian workers
All the EU migrants I have met have come to the UK only to work or study. They are law abiding and just want to get on with their lives and make it in this country or earn enough money to return home, as thousands have done so.
Considering there are more than 1 million people from Eastern Europe living in the UK (based on estimates as exact numbers are unknown) the number of crimes committed according to Dominic Raab would be just over 2% of the population. Hardly cause for panic.
In highlighting Bulgarians and Romanians, it should also be noted that they are being treated like second class European Citizens in the UK as well as other EU member countries.
Unlike workers from A8 accession countries such as Poland, who enjoy full ‘free movement of Labour’ rights to work in the UK, Bulgarians and Romanians do not have the same rights to work in the UK.
To work in the UK they must apply under various schemes such as Work Permit or BR1 Yellow Card registration, which can involve taking out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance and swearing an Oath that they will not be a burden to the UK.
Those who exercise their Treaty Rights (under Article 39) and apply for an accession card as self employed persons or as students taking vocational or sandwich courses (e.g. NVQ/QCF in Health and Social Care), are allowed to work full time, as stated on their Yellow Cards, but they have to apply for this and jump through several hoops.
Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 yellow card registration as students who wish to work are being forced to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance – a form of private medical cover. The insurance is a new requirement introduced by the UK Border Agency as part of changes to the BR1 Yellow Card form in June. The revised BR1 form does not make it clear that a student will need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, as the actual question relates to those applying as ‘self sufficient’ EU applicants. For more information on immigration rules for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens visit the UK Border Agency website or see an OISC registered immigration adviser.
Aplicants should also note that the newly revised UK Border Agency website has changed previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.
For instance, the link for European Workers is now:
The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:
The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.
The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:
‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’
In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.
Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.
What is the correct insurance cover?
One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.
Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.
For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
STILL CONFUSED BY YELLOW CARD RULES?
Free presentations are being run at Bison UK Immigration Advisers for Employers, Romanians and Bulgarians – Monday to Friday, from 11am-12noon and 3-4pm. No need to book, just turn up.
Venue: 16 Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 1DL. Nearest Train Station: Elstree and Borehamwood Station; Buses from Edgware underground station: 107 and 292.