Scaremongering over immigrant crime

Posted on: 07 May 2014 by Gareth Hargreaves

Immigrants are behind a crime wave sweeping the nation according to the tabloids and some politicians, but is there credibility to their claim?

immingrant crime scaremongering

New research suggests only one percent of crime is committed by European migrants! Derek Johnson, senior lecturer in Geography and Crime science at the University of Northumbria, has published findings of a study that show EU migrants have made an insignificant impact on crimes in England.

The independent research challenges the arguments of politicians such as home secretary Theresa May and UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who have wrong-headedly forwarded the notion that a crime committed by a foreigner is somehow worse than one committed by a UK citizen.

Politicians tub thumping with outrage at the excesses of minority groups is hardly new: we've had, in previous years, media furore targetting single mothers, benefit cheats, hoodies, asylum seekers and now it's the turn of the foreign criminal.

“Our research confirms that the EU migrants don’t have very much impact on overall crime in the UK. EU minorities contribute around one percent of all crimes committed in England," said author of the research, Derek Johnson.

“The findings suggest that there is no national issue here but those that may exist are very localised.”

The crime data was gathered from all but six English Police forces.From this information researchers were able to look at how crime committed by EU migrants is distributed throughout the country.

The study focused on EU migrants from Portugal, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Poland as these groups were found to have committed more crime in comparison with other more recent or less concentrated EU residents within England.

Data received from Police Forces in the Home Counties, Lincolnshire, Cumbria and Surrey indicated localised areas of EU migrant crime but the research only considered things at the scale of whole Police Forces rather than towns, cities or areas within those Police Forces.

Mr Johnson continued: “For areas where there seems to be a particular problem, this research can help surrounding police forces to be aware that there may be a localised issue and work together to tackle it and prevent spread.

“The forces can do their own independent analysis to understand and react to the issue in their communities.”

The research was undertaken as part of a £1.2 million European project aimed at fighting crime in Europe.

Many countries within the EU already share DNA data obtained from known individuals to match with anonymous DNA recovered from crime scenes and all member states are in the process of doing so.
Mr Johnson said: “These figures make it clear that EU migrants are only being proceeded against for a very low volume of crimes in National terms but we have only been able to get values for those against which a formal charge or initial criminal justice proceedings have been taken.

“Effective criminal tagging needs serious thought. While the DNA data sharing would encompass the data of organised and serious criminals, potentially data from minor criminals, such as shoplifting offenders, could be shared in all EU countries. This places an ‘international tag’ on all crime, regardless of the severity of the offence," said Mr Johnson.

He continued, “We, in England, only have 1% of crime committed by EU migrants, which does not constitute a national problem.”


Mr Johnson’s full research can be purchased here: ‘E.U. Migrant Criminal Activity: Exploring Spatial Diversity and Volume of Criminal Activity Attributed to Inter EU Migrants in England’.

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