January 28, 2008
Nick FaggePOLICE are struggling to cope with a wave of violent crime caused by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, one of Britain’s senior officers has warned.
Mike Fuller, Chief Constable of Kent, says his force is being stretched to the limit by the huge numbers flocking into the UK.
He blames these “migration surges” for a 35 per cent rise in violent crime in his county. His worries are voiced in a letter to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith which was leaked at the weekend.
He told the Home Secretary: “It is essential that I set out the impact that population growth is having in Kent and the pressure it is placing on finite resources.”
Mr Fuller said his force alone will need more than 550 extra bobbies on the beat if the population explosion in the county – in which 80 per cent of new arrivals are from abroad – continues.
Britain is currently experiencing its biggest influx in history, with 520 new immigrants arriving every day.
And last night the Government’s immigration policy was branded a failure.
Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “Evidence is mounting from all over the country that the Government’s failure on immigration policy is leading to unacceptable pressure on the police and other essential public services.
“If Jacqui Smith doesn’t listen to this warning she will be responsible for asking the police to perform an impossible task.”
Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch UK, added: “These problems stem from a rapid increase in population resulting directly from uncontrolled immigration. We must get a grip of the numbers and soon.”
Mr Fuller said in his letter: “There’s a danger that if the future funding regime fails to respond to dynamic changes in migration, the extra demand this generates will impact negatively on performance.”
His fears are the latest in a long list of warnings about the effects of Labour’s open-door immigration policy on Britain’s services and communities.
A rise in crime is just one of 15 key problems caused by mass migration, according to the Local Government Association.
Mr Fuller, Britain’s most senior black police officer, said Government predictions have proved wholly unreliable and funding has failed to match the huge influx of new arrivals.
Tipped as a future Met Police commissioner, Mr Fuller says the population of Kent is set to rise by almost 20 per cent in the next 20 years to 1.9million.
He explained that it was particularly a problem in Kent as it is the first landing place for new arrivals from the Continent via the Channel ports and tunnel.
He warned the multi-million- pound cost of translation services alone is placing a strain on his limited resources.
Last September, the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police, Julie Spence, said her force was struggling to control the disorder resulting from mass immigration.
She said she needed more resources to deal with the influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe. Other forces across the country have complained they are facing the same problem.
Last November, the LGA warned mass migration was having a catastrophic effects on services and communities.
The survey of 100 local councils found that in some areas three-quarters of children are now born to foreign-born mothers while three in four pupils in some education authorities do not speak English as a first language.
In other towns, migrants are being housed illegally in garden sheds or caravans while others sleep on beaches.
Hospital emergency wards are under strain, translation costs are soaring and house prices are being forced up.
An estimated one million Eastern European have come to the UK since Labour opened our doors to the so-called A8 countries – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia – in 2004.
Last year, others followed from Romania and Bulgaria.
Hundreds of thousands continue to arrive from Commonwealth countries in Africa and Asia, such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana.
Tens of thousands of others come from former colonies such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Experts predict the UK population will rise from 60.5million to 71million within 23 years.
The scale of the increase by 2031 is the equivalent of the population of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all moving to England.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Reducing crime, making communities safer and improving police efficiency are top priorities for this Government.
On a like-for-like basis, Government grant for the police will have increased by over 60 per cent or more than £3.7billion between 1997-98 and 2010-11.
“The police funding formula is used to make an assessment of the relative demands placed on each police authority in England and Wales and the population of each authority is a key driver.
“We have set up the Migration Impacts Forum to consider the impacts of migration and we will – together with colleagues from local government – consider any evidence provided by the police.”
Kent Police last night said there was no one available to comment on Mr Fuller’s letter.