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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 05:30 GMT 06:30 UK
Reaction: Police migrant impact
The chief constable of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence, has said her force needs more staff and resources to cope with an influx of migrant workers.

Development agencies and immigration bodies have reacted to her concerns about crime linked to foreigners.

RHIAN BEYNON, JOINT COUNCIL FOR THE WELFARE OF IMMIGRANTS

More reliable data on the size of the migrant population needs to be developed for a really sound discussion of public service resources to take place.

As Cambridgeshire Police point out, migrants make an important economic contribution and the majority will also be paying taxes for their services like everyone else.

SHAILESH VARA, CONSERVATIVE MP FOR NORTH WEST CAMBRIDGESHIRE

It is important to recognise that this is not an issue to do with race or racism.

This is about recognition of the fact that a large number of people are coming into the country and we need resources to deal with those people.

BRENDAN BARBER, TUC GENERAL SECRETARY

What would be very unfortunate was if, on the back of that very legitimate concern, there was an attempt to create an impression that migrant workers are a major problem and that the response to that should be a negative response and that we shouldn't be welcoming.

We have to support them, we have to more effectively ensure that they are not able to be exploited by rogue employers and we have to help with things like English language skills.

JOHN WILKINSON, EAST OF ENGLAND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

What businesses in this region are saying to us is that [migrants are] absolutely critical to a growing and successful economy. And of course we need to manage the impact that those migrants are having on this region.

Inevitably if we want to grow this region's economy ... then we need more migrants with skills to come and fill the jobs that are available and there are obviously costs associated with that.

And it's for the government to decide how they divide up the revenue ... to best manage the impact that the migrants have.

One of the areas that we're focusing on is the appropriate provision of information and advice to migrant workers and also to employers of migrant workers.

SIR ANDREW GREEN, MIGRATION WATCH UK

What is underlying this, I think, is the basic problem - the sheer scale of immigration.

I mean, foreign immigration - even allowing for those who leave - is now running at about 800 a day.

We're having to build 200 houses every day for the next 20 years, just for new immigrants. Well, that's illustrative, if you like, of the costs on our society and on our environment.

And that's why we have said that we must get the numbers down - get all of this manageable.

NIGEL FARAGE, UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY LEADER

Mrs Spence is at the sharp end of policing and we must listen to her calls for help.

EU laws forbid us from denying entry to known criminals - even murderers and rapists - so it's no wonder that the police forces are feeling the strain. This is a situation which could be repeated in any part of the country; if it has not been already.

We need to be tougher on people coming to this country who break our laws and not be the soft touch of Europe.

I hope Labour, Tories and Lib Dems are feeling guilty about the problems they have inflicted on hard working Britons following their stupid decision to vote for EU enlargement and allow these waves of migrants which have caused problems in all sectors of the community.

PETER CONNIFF, BEDFORSHIRE POLICE AUTHORITY CHAIRMAN

Some [migrants] come from countries where there's a culture of carrying knives, with a culture of drink-driving, there's also a very major language problem as well.

At the moment now we've got in excess of 80 languages being spoken throughout the county. Now this does mean that interpreting costs are huge.

In Bedfordshire they've now rocketed to half a million pounds a year.



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