Fraud Is a New Type of Crime Brought Here by Nigerians? Was There None in the City?
Howe, Darcus, New Statesman (1996)
I am generally acquainted with scores of folk who have broken the law, from jumping traffic lights to extreme crimes of violence. Not all of them do I regard as criminals. That includes myself, even though the British police desperately tried to make me into one. For ten years, between 1970 and 1980,1 was always on bail for one thing or another, and I am without a conviction to this day.
I introduce myself thus because I and many others like me were previously unacquainted with the name of Chris Fox, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers. But we know him now: he has a loud mouth and, through his first public statement, has brought policing into public ridicule.
"Mass migration," he says, "has brought with it a whole new type of crime, from Nigerian fraudsters and the eastern Europeans who deal in drugs and prostitution to the Jamaican concentration on drug dealing." New types of crime? Excuse me, but was there never fraud in the City or prostitution in London and other great cities? Was it not the British who took part in the opium trade in China? Or the desires of sailors in the Royal Navy that gave rise to prostitution in ports around the world? It was through outward European migration to far-flung colonial countries that crime became an international activity in the first place. …