Thursday, April 25, 2013
Below is a first-hand personal account of a very recent incident in the once safe and respectable south London suburb of Sutton. Paul’s mother, the victim in the incident, is in her late 80s. These ‘Roma’ thieves are no respecters of age — on the contrary, they stalk them gleefully like wolf packs.
Three to four years ago years ago the London Borough of Wandsworth (in which I live) started to experience massive losses on its parking revenue due to ‘Roma’ gangs breaking in to its parking meters.
In one month alone the loss was £74,000. Wandsworth Council’s parking revenue loss over the period 2002 to 2012 has been estimated at about £1.3 million. Parking meter income is vital to local councils in providing essential services to local people.
There are 32 boroughs in Greater London. 32 x £1.3 million = £41,600,000. That figure does not include the cost of repairing or replacing hundreds or thousands of damaged machines, nor the cost council employees’, Police and court time.
But there is more: Wandsworth Council found that the Police were reluctant to pursue ‘Roma’ gangs for this (and doubtless other) similar organised predations because they found that:
• The actual perpetrators (as distinct from organisers and managers) of the thefts were often below the age of criminal liability; and/or;
• Those arrested pretended to have no command of the English language and were entitled to highly expensive translators to accompany highly expensive free legal aid lawyers to represent them. (The organisation given the monopoly contract by the government to provide translators frequently failed to do so in a timely fashion. Police station interviews and later court proceedings were delayed and, in some cases, abandoned); and/or
• It was impossible to determine the identity and ‘home address’ of arrested persons since they were ‘travellers’; and/or
• At preliminary court hearings accused persons were almost invariably given bail, after which they disappeared and were untraceable.
Thus the cost of attempts to brings these ‘Roma’ gangs to justice far exceeded the value of their parking meter thefts and the damage they inflicted. And parking meter thefts is just one of numerous criminal enterprises operated by the ‘Roma’.
Six years ago, when cycling back from Leamington Spa to London along an ancient drovers’ route known as The Welsh Road, now a remote country lane, I stopped at the shop/sub-post office in the village Blakesley, Northamptonshire. The owner and sole staff member was an 85 year old man. As we chatted, a Police car pulled up and an officer came in to deliver this message: “A convoy of Kosovan Gypsy vehicles is on its way. Close up the shop now. Do not allow anybody in….”
The Police then departed, presumably to go to other villages to deliver similar warnings. The owner suggested I bring in my bicycle and stay with him until the danger passed. In ten minutes the Gypsy convoy arrived. They stopped and rattled at the door and asked us to open up. We told them. “We’re closed. Early closing day. Sorry.” The tribe realised they had been ‘rumbled’ and, after an agitated conversation in which they all shot dirty looks in our direction, they moved on.
Before I cycled off, the shop’s owner said he had heard of incidents in which small village sub-post offices like his had been invaded by ‘Roma’. The children caused distractions whilst the adults scaled over the post office grills and looted. The wretched owners had been held liable for the losses by the GPO head office and insurers.
A press report last week indicated that more than 80 per cent of persons arrested for pick-pocketing on the London Underground were ‘Roma’ from eastern Europe. A recent TV documentary about British Transport Police on the Underground made a similar point. While men had their pockets picked whilst being jostled on crowded trains, women had their handbags slit open with razors.
With scores of thousands of ‘Roma’ expected to flood in next year at the behest of the EU, the outlook for our rural communities, commuters and for the elderly everywhere is grim. Be on your guard.