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Kings Court Chambers Review – Dispelling UK Immigration Myths

Submitted by Daniel Waldron, Kings Court Chambers

Recent research reveals that the arrival of Eastern European Immigrants in Britain has not caused crime rates to increase.

In fact they have helped to reduce crime figures. Kings Court Chambers investigates this and other UK Immigration myths,  questioning why so many of Britain's problems are blamed on overseas nationals.

Crime Conspiracy
Crime conspiracy theorists have often attributed rising crime rates with the number of immigrants arriving in Britain. However, recent research conducted by the London School of Economics (LSE) dismisses such theories and highlights that locations that have experienced high immigration numbers are seeing reduced crime rates.

According to the LSE, rates of burglary, vandalism and car theft have all shown a dramatic decrease amid the arrival of immigrants from Eastern European nations such as Hungary, Poland the Czech Republic and seven other nations since they joined the European Union (EU) in 2004.

However, in contrast, locations with high asylum seeker numbers experienced 'significantly higher' rates of property related crime. This has been an ongoing trend from the late 1990s onwards, according to research results. Furthermore, the research also revealed that UK Immigration has absolutely no bearing on the levels of violent crime occurring on UK streets.

In a statement from Brian Bell, a research fellow at the LSE, he said: "The perception that foreigners commit more crime is not true. The truth is that immigrants are just like natives: if they have a good job and a good income they don't commit crime."

Further research actually found that locations experiencing higher rates of crime were a result of crimes committed against immigrants. Controversial anti-immigration groups took this result as an opportunity to suggest that this proves that immigrants are responsible for increased crime rates in an indirect capacity.

Comments made by anti-immigration groups were immediately dismissed and described as absurd. A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: "The suggestion that victims of crime, because they are immigrants, means they contribute to increased crime rates is ridiculous. That is such an offensive statement and implies that because you're an immigrant, you brought it on yourself, it's outrageous and such groups should be ashamed of their comments." The LSE research concerning crime rates and UK immigration focussed on communities that had an immigrant demographic of more than 30%.

Immigrants come here to scrounge
Another immigration myth dismissed by the LSE research is the perception that overseas nationals come to the UK to live off the state. In fact, immigrants arriving in Britain tend to have an 'entrepreneurial spirit', coming to the UK in order to seek employment and get ahead in life. Interestingly, a number of UK business enterprises prefer the work ethic of overseas nationals when compared with UK 'natives'.

'They come here and take our jobs'
If complaints are being made about immigrants not working, they're also being made about them coming to the UK and finding jobs, much to the annoyance of UK natives. Not happy with having to subsidise immigrants who don't work, natives are also unhappy that immigrants are taking their jobs.

In fact, in a survey conducted by the LSE, they discovered that many unemployed UK natives had turned down job opportunities because they felt they were too good for the job. Immigrants on the other hand would grasp every opportunity presented to them, even the menial tasks.

The notion that immigrants are taking jobs 'wanted' by immigrants is untrue according to research analysts. UK natives are simply turning them down and immigrants are filling the void.

A Kings Court Chambers spokesperson said: "Unfortunately much of the furore about UK immigration is a direct result of how immigrants are presented to the UK public by the British press. Many of the perceptions are merely myths and speculation promoted by the press to vilify immigrants. The fact is that immigrants contribute vastly to British society and the country has to come to terms with that."

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