Romanian beggars 'flooding' London
Tuesday 24 April 2012
Eastern European migrants are arriving in London in
"unprecedented" numbers, flooding the capital with beggars, pickpockets
and prostitutes before the Olympics, officials have warned.
Organised crime gangs are believed to be transporting coach loads of Romanians into the country with instructions to work a pre-allocated "pitch".
Some are understood to have come armed with Google Map print-outs of Marble Arch, which has drawn crowds of rough sleepers in recent weeks.
Authorities are finding up to 60 people with make-shift homes close to the monument and its surrounding streets each night.
Westminster councillor Nickie Aiken, spokeswoman for children, young people and community protection, said: "The reality is that coach transport into London represents an immigration sieve.
"There are no effective border controls on those coming into the UK and making their way to Victoria coach station and we are paying the price of that with a sudden influx of eastern European rough sleepers - especially Romanians - around Marble Arch."
Those being brought into the country are believed to have been lured with the promise of a better future, but they soon end up with no jobs or homes.
"This is being systematically organised from Romania and those running this cynical racket are the only ones who profit from it," Ms Aiken added.
"The problem for London is that one of London's most iconic landmarks is being turned into an impromptu campsite just 95 days ahead of the London Olympics.
"The risk is that we could get a torrent of people coming here from eastern Europe in the deluded belief that London can provide a more lucrative living ahead of the Games."
Officials say they have identified three central London locations which have become "bedding down sites", including Hampden Gurney Primary School in Nutford Place, Westminster.
A second group of Romanians are understood to be commuting into the area to beg or steal.
Checks have shown the majority live in Ilford or Slough and travel by main line trains into Victoria station.
Authorities believe around 50 women were shipped into the Sussex Gardens area last weekend and reports suggest high class prostitutes are working outside the Cumberland Hotel on Great Cumberland Street.
"This influx of same language rough sleepers is utterly unprecedented in scale and nature and we are implementing a strategy to ensure those who do return take a message that rough sleeping in London is not a soft option," Westminster council said.
"This situation is unique as we have never encountered this volume of concentration of such street-based activity and we hope that we are able to deliver a significant reduction in rough sleeping numbers. However we suspect that we may be witnessing the first pro-active, entrepreneurial endeavours by organised criminal enterprise ahead of the Olympics."
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Hollande's affair: Catherine Deneuve and Sophie Marceau in war of words over President's relationship with Julie Gayet
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the the Pyongyang marathon winner
Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 5 Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...