In 2014 there will be an unprecedented crime wave in Britain if we do not stop Romanian and Bulgarian citizens having open door access to British borders, claims UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom on Public Service Europe.
• No matter who is elected to run our police forces on November 15, Britain will be unable to stop the tidal flood of new immigrants because the government's hands are tied and it cannot stop restrictions being lifted without tearing up the treaty signed with Bulgaria and Romania when they joined the EU in 2007.
The government is frightened to predict how many Bulgarians and Romanians will move here because the previous administration grossly underestimated the numbers in 2004. It predicted fewer than 20,000 eastern Europeans would arrive but Office for National Statistics figures show more than 600,000 were working in Britain last year. Already, statistics have shown that Romania's population has fallen by more than 12 per cent since 2002 as hundreds of thousands leave the poverty-stricken nation for richer countries such as Britain.
Figures from the latest Romanian census reveal that migration and a low birth rate have pushed the population down to 19 million, a fall of almost three million in ten years, with one million Romanians working abroad. However, other estimates suggest the number of expatriate workers could be three million. There is no official figure for the number of Romanians in the United Kingdom, but British businesses advertised 2,400 vacancies in one month alone on a Romanian website for nurses, engineers and other jobs.
The exit of workers is also a moral one for Romania which has raised particular concerns in a country where only about five million employees pay taxes and most of the rest are pensioners, children, subsistence farmers or people working illegally. That is unsustainable.
A recent investigation also revealed that large numbers of Romanians are working in the UK as Big Issue vendors while also claiming benefits. Almost one in three Big Issue sellers – 700 out of a nationwide force of 2,250 registered vendors according to the magazine – was found to have come from Romania. Currently 90 per cent of cash point fraud is perpetrated by Romanian gangs; a Romanian pick pocket gang committed over 180 robberies and organised crime is rife, transporting their gangs by bus. They exploit children to beg and steal; they are dubbed the new 'Fagins' by many.
A disgraceful example of crime against the elderly was committed earlier this year when two members of a Romanian gang that targeted elderly people to steal their bank cards were jailed for six years each. Ioan Hutup, 30, and Elena Batan, 38, would spy on pensioners using their debit and credit cards at supermarket checkouts, watching them entering their PIN then following them home. They would then use a number of ruses to distract the victim while their card was stolen from them and then used to withdraw cash to buy goods. The sentencing judge said they would be deported at the end of their sentences. If only. They will be out in three years and then they will appeal that it is against their human rights to be sent home, when we will be stuck with them or face years of legal challenges with only the lawyers benefiting.
The Bulgarian administration is corrupt to the core, funded by the European Union. If the rot is at the top, that filters down through society and we do not want that here. The pure economics of these countries will dictate the migration numbers. Bulgaria has the lowest average income in the EU. Poland has gross domestic product per capita of $13,000 but Bulgaria's GDP per capita is just $7,300. There are 30 million inhabitants in Bulgaria and Romania.
If just five per cent migrate here, that is a potential new labour market of 1.5 million looking for work. When we have one million youth unemployed rate and a general unemployment rate of 8.4 per cent, that is 1.5 million potential job and benefit seekers. We cannot afford the benefits, we cannot afford more British joblessness, we cannot afford the extra housing and strain on our infrastructure and we cannot afford a crime explosion. The Home Secretary Theresa May needs to address this situation urgently, to tear up the treaty signed by Labour to protect our borders and citizens.
Godfrey Bloom MEP represents UKIP in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire and is standing for election as police and crime commissioner for Humberside