Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting BA NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Police have 'no fears' over Romanian migrants
10:30am Monday 6th January 2014 in Local
POLICE and crime commissioner Bill Longmore has issued a rallying call over a potential Romanian invasion - saying he is confident it will not increase crime.
West Mercia Police’s elected figurehead believes Worcestershire people should not have any fears over trouble.
It was revealed detailed talks have taken place between Mr Longmore and chief constable David Shaw to assess the potential impact the migration rule changes could have.
Both of them are confident West Mercia Police’s force area will not come under extra pressure from the relaxing of migration rules.
The duo have decided to monitor any new influx closely, but say previous migrant incomings from Eastern European nations, such as Poland, did not stretch the force.
It comes despite serious concerns from Matthew Ellis, police and crime commissioner for Staffordshire, a neighbouring force, who has demanded a meeting with home secretary Theresa May about it.
Worcestershire is expected to get a significant influx of new migrants from Romania and Bulgaria because there is plenty of agricultural, seasonal work available already.
Mr Longmore said: “I discussed the issue of migrant workers with the chief constable three or four months ago, and we do not have any specific concerns.
“The police have good working relationships with West Mercia’s Eastern European communities.
“We will continue to monitor the situation as we do with all communities across West Mercia.”
Mr Longmore’s call follows comments from Worcestershire’s MPs on Friday, who insist there is too much “scaremongering” going on.
Since New Year’s Day relaxed border rules mean migrants from Romania and Bulgaria can come to the UK without a job offer.
It followed an agreement dating back to 1997, allowing free movement across the European Union.
At the moment there are estimated to be 287 Romanians in Worcestershire, 117 of whom are students at the University of Worcestershire.
But several hundred more do temporary agricultural work in rural parts of the county, especially around Malvern.
Both census officials and Worcestershire County Council don’t keep a tally of Bulgarians in the county because the figures are estimated to be so low.
Comments are closed on this article.