Gotta pick a pocket or two…

News from one of Britain’s top coppers that Romanian gangs are smuggling children into the UK to pick pockets.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, the European Police Office, said the criminals use young children as modern-day Oliver Twists. He said: “A lot of the problems affecting the UK flow in from south-east Europe. It’s not just drugs, there’s also human beings trafficking.”

“They live in groups of 20 and are sent out early to high streets, where they carry out pickpocketing, mobile phone theft, shoplifting, you name it. The Met got on to this when they started picking up one or two 12 and 13-year-old boys and girls from Romania and they thought they were isolated cases.”

“We were brought in and, by patching up with Romanian authorities and the Met, and also using our ­analysts to look behind the intelligence of these apparent trends, we uncovered this international network of 1,200 children.”

Seems that they are also attracted by our somewhat generous benefits system. Wainwright’s comments came as 9 Romanians were ­recently sentenced to 10 years in prison at Southwark Crown Court for an £800,000 housing benefit, tax credit, income support and child benefit scam. Benefit fraud costs Britain £1billion a year.

So it seems a really good idea to bring these extra Eastern European countries into the EU, doesn’t it? Well, not if you’re British it doesn’t!

But there is a bright side to this – apparently 80% of all street crime in Paris is attributed to Romanian gangs. Kind of repays the buggers for Sangatte doesn’t it. Serves them right!

Don’t say I didn’t tell you this was going to happen…

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