1. The number of racially-motivated assaults on Romanians recorded in London has almost quadrupled since the start of 2013, according to data released by the Metropolitan Police.
The number of attacks increased to 11 between January and March 2014, almost double the number (six) in the previous quarter.
In the same period in 2013, there were three racially-motivated attacks against Romanians.
The rise coincides with a period when working restrictions were lifted, allowing both Romanians and Bulgarian nationals to enter the UK. Despite this, however, the number of Romanians and Bulgarians in the country has actually decreased since the beginning of the year, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics.
While there were 144,00 Bulgarians and Romanians working in the UK in the final three months of 2013, the most recent figures suggest this figure has now dropped to 140,000.
2. Towards the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, there were a number of newspaper stories claiming that immigrants from these countries would soon be flocking to the UK.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage also came under attack earlier this month after he said he would be “concerned” if “a group of Romanian men moved in” next door. Farage also suggested migrants coming to the UK had been “forced into a life of crime”.
The Metropolitan Police told BuzzFeed the rise in racist and religious hate crimes recorded by the Metropolitan Police in 2013/14, 3.1%, is partially due to more people reporting crimes.
A spokesperson for the Met said: “This includes a growing willingness of victims to report hate crime; an improved awareness of MPS staff to identify these offences; the support provided by more than 500 specialist hate crime investigators working in our 32 dedicated hate crime Community Safety Units (CSUs); and work with partners to support victims.”
The spokesperson added that the police force is working closely with these communities. “We have been focusing on building trust and confidence within these communities to report hate crime to the police and this may be one of the reasons for the increase in reported offences.”
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