Murderers and rapists among 105 foreign criminals arrested in Suffolk, police figures show

Border control at Stansted Airport.
Pic- Sarah Lucy Brown

Border control at Stansted Airport. Pic- Sarah Lucy Brown

A call to crackdown on freedom of movement for foreign criminals has been made after it emerged murderers and rapists were among more than 100 offenders discovered in Suffolk.

According to Suffolk Constabulary figures two murderers and three rapists were among 105 criminals from EU countries whose past was only discovered after they were arrested during a 12-month period.

Only when someone is detained as a suspect can checks be made on someone’s previous convictions elsewhere.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore was alarmed by the figures.

He said: “I am deeply concerned that at present, foreign nationals with serious criminal records are able to travel freely into and within our country.

“Some crimes committed by these individuals are particularly abhorrent including rape, murder and human trafficking and I believe it is wrong that such people can have unfettered access to the United Kingdom.

“Equally, I would have thought other nations would not welcome criminals from the United Kingdom who have committed similar offences to travel to their nations unimpeded.

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“It is high time there is root and branch reform of freedom of movement across international borders for those individuals who have committed serious crimes.

“The forthcoming Brexit negotiations could provide an ideal opportunity to pursue this change.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer added: “This is very concerning and demonstrates why we are right to share information across Europe. Now we must ensure that we can use this information at the border, so that people cannot come here when they pose a risk to our communities.

“Leaving the European Union provides us with an opportunity to do just that.”

The Suffolk figures, released after a Freedom of Information request by the EADT and Ipswich Star, relate to the period between March 1 last year and February 28 this year.

One man, a 29-year-old Lithuanian, was found to have 19 convictions in his homeland. Another – a 59-year-old Italian - had 13 convictions in Italy.

Among the crimes committed in other countries by foreign nationals before arriving in the UK were murder, kidnapping, rape, drug-dealing, use of a lethal weapons, violent burglaries, extortion and grievous bodily harm.

Of the 102 males and three females arrested 33 were Romanian, 32 were from Poland, 24 from Lithuania, and nine from Portugal.

One man had convictions in Romania, Spain and Italy before offending in the UK.

The offences they were suspected of committing in Suffolk included death by dangerous driving, drug-dealing, grievous bodily harm, child pornography, human trafficking, and a raft of drink, drug and dangerous driving incidents.