Majority of British Public Believes Migration Leads to More Crime

Watchtower behind barbed wire fences at a UK Prison
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The majority of the British public thinks that migration is correlated with a rise in crime while just three per cent believe that it results in a reduction of crime, a survey found.

Amid increasing calls for the UK government to publish data on the criminality of migrants and asylum seekers by nationality, a poll from YouGov has found that 56 per cent of the public believe that migration “usually leads to more crime”.

Conversely, just 3 per cent said migration brings down crime, while 28 per cent said that they think it “usually makes no difference” and a further 13 per cent said they were unsure.

Some of the picture can be gleaned from looking at prison statistics, which found that people professing Muslim faith and those registered as so-called BAME (Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic) people are overrepresented in the prison population. Jail statistics also show the stark increase in the Albanian prisoner population in Britain, which over the past decade has increased from 212 in 2013 to 1,475 last year.

As of June of last year, 10,321 foreigners were incarcerated in England and Wales, representing 12 per cent of all inmates in the British prison population.

However, while the Home Office keeps records on the ethnicity of those arrested in Britain, it refuses to publish a full breakdown of crimes by nationality. The department also does not disclose to the public whether prisoners are in the country legally or if they are alleged asylum seekers.

This has led to Brexit leader Nigel Farage accusing the government of importing “mass criminality” through its open-door immigration system, which has allowed in record levels of foreigners — nearly three-quarters of a million in 2022 net — and continues to see thousands of illegals pour over the English Channel from France every month.

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman has made similar warnings, claiming that migrants — particularly those breaking into the country illegally — are playing a key role in the “heightened levels of criminality” seen in the country.

In order to get a clearer picture of the impact of migration on crime, former Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has called on the government to begin recording and publishing the nationality, immigration, and visa status of every convicted criminal.

The former minister has also suggested a bifurcation of the Home Office, arguing that a specific department should be tasked with controlling illegal immigration.

“We cannot hope to fix our immigration system without understanding the problem. The national debate on legal and illegal migration is hindered by a lack of data on the fiscal, economic and societal impacts of migration,” Mr Jenrick told The Telegraph in March.

“There is mounting concern that the UK is importing crime, particularly violent crime, sexual assaults and drug production. We need to have transparency so the public knows what’s happening and policy can be formulated accordingly.”

Jenrick’s remarks followed those by another Tory migration rebel, Neil O’Brien, who publicised the fact that even the limited dataset available on migration was gradually being withdrawn, leaving lawmakers and the voting public even more in the dark than usual. While the exact statistics O’Brien weren’t related to crime, but rather the financial contribution of migrants to the economy, not having access to these types of data confounds attempts to make a holistic appraisal of the benefits or otherwise of mass migration.

O’Brien praised the Kingdom of Denmark — which has some of the strictest immigration controls in Europe — for being more open with its statistics. The country, for instance, releases a full breakdown of foreign criminality to the public.

According to an analysis of official figures from the Danish government tracking crimes between 2010 and 2021, over 40 foreign nationalities were more likely on a per capita basis to commit crimes than native Danes, with migrants from Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Somalia, and Uganda topping the crime tables.

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