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Wide-ranging nationalities of people arrested by Kent Police officers reveals county's international crime league

07 January 2014
by Andy Gray

Police on patrol in Kent

Police on patrol in Kent

Kent is truly a league of nations when it comes to crime, new figures reveal.

A Freedom of Information request found people from 100 countries, including the UK, were arrested and charged in connection with an offence in the county in a year.

There were 14,842 arrests in the county that resulted in at least one charge between October 2012 and 2013.

When broken down by nationality, the most number of arrests involved people from the UK - 12,960 or 87% of the total figure.

Eastern Europeans are second-highest in the crime table with positions two to six taken by citizens from Lithuania (230), Poland (213), Romania (208), Slovak Republic (162) and Czech Republic (79) respectively.

People from these countries make up 6% of the overall crime figure.

The relatively high number of Polish nationals is perhaps not surprising considering they form the biggest non-UK community in Kent, which according to the latest census in 2011, stood at 10,357 out of the county’s 1.46 million population.

Following the lifting of government restrictions, it is predicted up to 50,000 people from Bulgaria and Romania will head to the UK every year to live and work.

Figures released last week revealed Maidstone was the most popular south east destination for migrants from these two countries between 2012 and 2013.

It has led to fears this year's county-wide crime figures will involve a higher number of eastern Europeans.

Related story

KCC prepares for thousands of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria

UKIP councillor Cllr Lee Burgess, Kent County Council representative for Swale Central, said: "No one nationality is more disposed to committing crime than any other.

"But it's logical that if Bulgarians and Romanians start making up a lager proportion of the population, then the crime statistics will go up among those communities.

"I'm more concerned that free borders means we will have no control over who comes here.

"We may get the doctors and nurses we need and rely on, but we might also get the undesirables which we can send back, but can't stop coming back."

Swale UKIP councillor Lee Burgess

Swale UKIP councillor Lee Burgess

Dr Aga Gordon, a Polish mother-of-three who lives in Canterbury after moving to Britain nine years ago, said crime among her circle of fellow countrymen and women is unheard of.

She said: "None of my friends who come from Poland and live in Kent are criminals.

"All of them work hard and most of them have good educational backgrounds and degrees.

"If Bulgarians and Romanians start making up a lager proportion of the population, than the crime statistics will go up among those communities..." - UKIP councillor Lee Burgess

"They do the best for their children and quite a lot of them give back to the community."

Dr Gordon, who helps run the Riverside Children's Centre in Canterbury and is chairman of the Polish Educational Club in Kent, added: "My role at the centre is voluntary and a number of other Polish mums help out as well.

"We have a large community group and we also run a Polish Saturday School."

Although those from the UK and Eastern Europe were involved in the majority of arrests last year, Kent's 2012/2013 crime figures read like a world atlas.

People from Guinea, Colombia, Niger and Palestine were among the litany of different nationals charged with at least one offence in the county.

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