Despite supposedly tougher new measures regarding problem begging, only one of the 37 Roma detained at Marble Arch this morning was sent back.
Two individuals – one of whom left voluntarily due to ill health – will be sent back to Bucharest today on £200 flights at the taxpayer’s expense.
Those who remain in the UK are within their rights to stay.
But police admitted that it was likely that they would simply disperse and continue begging.
Scotland Yard and the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) announced a crackdown on beggars and gangs of rough sleepers in central London, with teams arriving at the Roma’s Park Lane site at 4am.
Officials found dozens of men and women aged from their twenties up to their sixties sleeping rough in beds of cardboard and plastic bags.
They were processed by UKBA officers in a makeshift border post under a gazebo.