July 23 2014 Latest news:
Matt Stott and Colin Adwent
Friday, May 2, 2014
Demands to close a loophole allowing foreign criminals to enter the UK unchecked have intensified after four more European rapists were found to be living in Suffolk without police knowing.
A Latvian, who is unable to named at present for legal reasons, is the latest to be made subject to the requirements of the Sex Offences Act after Ipswich magistrates approved an application for a notification order.
It was made after Suffolk Constabulary discovered the 21-year-old had been convicted of aggravated rape on February 2, 2009, at Latgale Regional Court in Latvia.
Over the past three months Lithuanian nationals Igor Drankovic, a fellow countryman whose identity also cannot be revealed at present, and Romanian George Vintila, were all placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register. This followed police researching their background after unrelated arrests for less serious offences.
Two of the men now live in Ipswich, while the other lives in Ilford. They were all convicted of rape in their homelands between 1999 and 2009.
The quartet are the latest of six European rapists who have been discovered in Suffolk over past two years after entering the UK.
Although rapists in the UK are made subject to the requirements of the Sex Offences Act, offenders in other European states are not.
Now East Anglian politicians including Ipswich MP Ben Gummer are renewing calls for a tightening of legislation in Brussels and for an overhaul of information-sharing methods among European police forces.
Last June this newspaper reported how progress had been slow in stopping similar cases a year after it was revealed two rapists from Lithuania had moved to Suffolk.
In July 2012 it was reported officers were hunting convicted Lithuanian rapist Gintautas Lipkinas after he fled from Ipswich while on bail for an unrelated offence.
In February that year a court order was made to ensure Juozas Kancauskas, of Fore Hamlet, Ipswich, signed the Sex Offenders’ Register following the discovery of his conviction for rape in Hamburg, Germany, in May 2006.
Mr Gummer said: “I don’t want people to underestimate the scale of the challenge in vetting every single person that comes to the UK.
“It is going to be very complicated and will require agreement across the European Union, but this is precisely the kind of issue where the EU does help to make sure we can protect our citizens from people coming from abroad.”
In November 2012 Polish-national Ireneusz Melaniuk was told he must serve at least 25 years 230 days in prison as part of a life sentence for the murder of Bury St Edmunds jeweller Peter Avis.
Melaniuk, 28, managed to get into the UK despite being on the run in Poland were he was serving a robbery sentence.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Anyone coming to the UK must abide by our laws. Where we receive information that foreign nationals present a genuine threat to society, we are able to take action to prevent their entry to the UK.”