Article in The Telegraph (6:00AM BST 23 Oct 2013):
Romanian police officers are starting to patrol London’s streets ahead of the lifting of border controls on immigrants from the east European country in two months time.
The Metropolitan Police has invited eight Romanian officers to work with its officers for the next two years after a succesful pilot programme last year.
Under the arrangement officers from the Met will be able to have access to the national police computer in Romania to check on suspects.
The officers have no policing powers to arrest suspects in the UK but will be able to share intelligence with their British counterparts.
The Met has asked a number of EU countries if they would like to deploy officers on the streets of London, but Romania was the first to accept the invitation.
Tens of thousands of people from Romania are expected to try to come to Britain once controls are lifted in January.
Writing on telegraph.co.uk, Ion Jinga, Romania’s ambassador to London, said: “It is a win-win game. The project offers a greater understanding on how we should be policing our communities within the European Union.
“Romania has to protect more than 1,000 km of the EU external border and our officers have now the opportunity to gain first hand experience in how one of the best police forces in the world operates and deal with a multicultural environment.”
He continued: “Our officers are working with their Met colleagues in areas with a larger Romanian community as well as in those affected by antisocial behaviour committed by a small proportion of our nationals.
“They have 24/7 direct access to the Romanian police databases and can conduct any check required by their British counterparts. They also have best knowledge and linkages within the Romanian communities in London.”
The news comes after some politicians such as Ukip’s Nigel Farage have warned of a crime wave which will come with the existing of controls. These claims have been strongly denied by the Romanian embassy.