London council tells Romania: "Come and control your travellers"

Updated: 

Britain seeks help from Romania in controlling its travellers

A London council has sent a request to Romania to send policemen to Britain and clean up after beggars from the country, who are leaving the streets like 'open sewers'.

According to the Daily Mail, Westminster Council says the problem of Romanian rough-sleepers is costing the taxpayer around £500,000 a year.

There are around 60 immigrants who have set up camp in Hyde Park next to Marble Arch, and, according to The Times, they are being blamed for a rise in anti-social behaviour toward tourists and locals.

The Daily Mail reports that councillor Nickie Allen has written to the Romanian ambassador requesting help, saying: "We, and the local police, are diverting resources every day into dealing with this. My concern is the situation is going to get worse with the hot weather.

"Until we stop these people coming into the country this is not going to go away. It's like mole holes, you can clear them from one place and they pop up in another."

Shopkeepers and local residents living near them say their streets are becoming like "open sewers".

According to the Daily Telegraph, of the 292 people arrested for begging in the borough of Westminster last year, 200 were Romanian.

A raid on a site in Hendon last month saw 70 Romanian immigrants removed who had been living there for two years.

Travellers like those liviing at Westminster are currently allowed to stay in the country for 90 days, when they have to prove they can support themselves, or leave Britain.

But many soon return as they are only obliged to stay away for 24 hours, reports the Daily Telegraph.

A team of Romanian police did come over to Britain during the London 2012 Olympics to tackle the issue, as well as some of the anti-social problems that come with it, including pickpocketing and street scams.

Back in June 2012, a team of 30 policemen surprised a group of Romanian con artists who were fleecing tourists on Westminster Bridge by turning up en masse in a London bus.

The bright red double decker Arriva London bus gave the policemen an advantage to ambush the illegal gamblers who were taking tourists' cash.

Officers from the Safer Transport Command waited on the bus for five hours before striking.

More than 25 Romanians were detained and 12 were charged with gaming offences.

Up to nine gangs playing fraudulent dice or 'three card trick' games had been seen operating on the bridge, taking hundreds of pounds from tourists; one American tourist lost $200 in 90 seconds.

Related articles

Police on London bus raid Romanian con artists fleecing tourists in Westminster Bridge