The head of Kent Police has stressed that increasing numbers of migrants are putting a strain on his force’s resources, despite a report which says migrants are having no affect on national crime rates.
The report for the Association of Chief Police Officers released on Wednesday says surges in immigrant numbers do not lead to a rise in crime, as offending rates in migrant communities are in line with the rate of offending in the general UK population.
But while the report puts paid to sensational claims that migration sends crime rates soaring, Kent Police chief constable Mike Fuller said that as far as Kent is concerned, migration was a very real and costly issue.
He said: “There is no doubt in Kent that migration has increased the demands on police.
“It is not necessarily in terms of crime - migrants can be victims as well as potential perpetrators - but it has increased our workload, as it has to other public services such as education and health.”
Mr Fuller wrote to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith earlier this year highlighting the burden migration places on his force, and asking for Kent Police to be properly resourced to deal with the additional and often unforeseen work load.
He added: “I can only speak from Kent perspective, based on our own direct experience. I have presented ( to the Home Secretary) objective evidence of how our workload had increased, such as in the increased translation service costs.”
Mr Fuller will meet with the Home Secretary along with other senior police chief from across the country on Thursday and hopes to receive feedback on the issue raised.