Nearly a third of people arrested in London are not British, the head of the capital’s police force has said.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, chief of London’s Metropolitan Police, said 28 to 29 per cent of people arrested in London per year are foreign nationals, with over half of that number coming from the European Union (EU).
The Times reports that he also blamed his force’s poor performance in getting criminal cases to court on the high number of foreign offenders in the UK capital.
The complexities involved in checking fingerprints, DNA and previous convictions of foreign-born criminals, he said, made it difficult to bring charges within the required 24 hours after arrest.
Only 13 per cent of notifiable offences end in a charge or summons in the capital, compared to up to 16 per cent for other large urban police forces, such as West Midlands and Greater Manchester police.
Speaking to the London Assembly’s police and crime committee, Sir Bernard said: “It’s not that foreigners cause problems, it’s just that is what London is like. We know that 28 to 29 per cent of the 250,000 arrests we make every year is a foreign national.
“The challenges that poses… is that we need to have the intelligence on them when they are detained. We need their criminal conviction history, we need the forensics information — and all of those are challenging if we have to release 90-odd per cent of our suspects within 24 hours.”
Of those foreign offenders the Met deal with, 55 per cent of are from the EU while the remainder are from outside.
“So for the investigator in that 24-hour period, that is quite a challenge, just getting the information to carry forward the interview. What I’m not saying is that means we can’t do our job, I’m just saying it’s one of the factors which makes London different.”
Yesterday, it was revealed that one in 10 births in the UK are now due to EU migrants. Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Britain had the highest number of births in the bloc to mothers from other EU states.
Referring to the birth statistics, Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “This is yet more evidence of the massive impact of immigration on our birth rate and of the growing challenge we face in integrating new arrivals into our society.”