Hardworking Romanians in Britain are having their lives and reputations ruined by misleading statistics and "scaremongering" rhetoric from the media and politicians, the Romanian ambassador has claimed.
Writing for The Huffington Post UK, Dr Ion Jinga says there is no evidence to suggest any increase in crime since Romanians began settling in Britain, and said statistics are wilfully manipulated to portray his countrymen in a bad light.
"Part of the media disproportionately associates migrants with theft, pick pocketing and begging but these are phenomena affecting all major cities since the ancient times. It has neither emerged in the recent years in Europe, nor is related to Eastern European communities that have settled into Western countries."
"Unfortunately, distorted and biased information about a ‘crime wave’ after 1 January 2014 is damaging their lives and reputation.
"An illustrative example is the allegation made by politicians whose assumed aim is to “cause an earthquake” in Britain by leaving the EU and sending foreigners back to their home countries: ‘27,000 Romanians were arrested for the last five years’. First, “arrested” is very much different from ‘charged’ or ‘convicted’.
"A simple ID check in traffic becomes an ‘arrest’ in statistics if you are asked to go to the police station for ID verification, even though you are released immediately after. Second, it doesn’t mean that 27,000 Romanians were “arrested”, because in many cases the same person was arrested several times.