Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It Beggars Belief ... Romanians Return to Marble Arch Hours after Being Moved on by Police

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It Beggars Belief ... Romanians Return to Marble Arch Hours after Being Moved on by Police

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Editor

LESS THAN 24 hours after police tried to clear Romanian gipsies from their makeshift camp at Marble Arch, they were back in the same spot.

Pictures taken by Standard photographer Jeremy Selwyn show police searching dozens of beggars at their camp on Tuesday. But yesterday morning the same group was again camped out on the traffic island, surrounded by their bags and suitcases.

Westminster councillor Nickie Aiken said: "We are working with the police to move these people on but it is like a revolving door."

The Roma travellers have been camping around Marble Arch and Park Lane for weeks. Some, witnesses claim, are committing crimes including knifepoint robberies and antisocial activities such as urinating in the street. Organised crime syndicates are thought to be responsible for transporting the Romanians into England by coach in the run-up to the Olympics with instructions to work pre-allocated "pitches" as beggars, pickpockets and prostitutes. …

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