Britain ‘hangs out a welcome sign’ to criminals

A dossier detailing how some of Europe’s most dangerous criminals were able to move to Britain shows why voters must back Brexit, said campaigners.

Britain ‘hangs out a welcome sign’ to criminals

Murderers and child rapists are among 50 offenders, identified as “most wanted” by Vote Leave, that have headed to the UK under freedom of movement laws.

The group claimed that instead of turning criminals away, Britain has allowed EU judges to “hang out a welcome sign”.

The analysis sets out how 45 of the offenders went on to commit fresh crimes. It includes Ireneusz Bartnowski, who was convicted in 2012 for the murder of Giuseppe and Caterina Massaro in their Wolverhampton home.

The Pole, who had a previous conviction for burglary, had been in the country for just two weeks when he attacked the elderly couple with a claw hammer and a knife.

The document also includes Arnis Zalkalns who is believed to have killed London schoolgirl Alice Gross in 2014. The Latvian builder — who lived unchecked in Britain despite serving a prison sentence for murdering his wife in his home country — later committed suicide.

Vote Leave said the dossier shows how British families are being put in danger because EU laws have made the country less secure.

Under current rules, countries are entitled to consult previous police records but convictions are not grounds for restricting the right to free movement.

The Government is not automatically notified about the convictions of serious offenders, which paves the way for murderers to enter the country unchecked, according to Vote Leave.

It also warns there is a lack of proper supervision of dangerous criminals within the EU.

Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott said: “EU membership means we have lost control of our borders and have been unable to prevent dangerous individuals from walking into the UK.

“Free movement of people has created free movement of criminals making the UK less safe and less secure.

"We’ve allowed EU judges to hang out a welcome sign to individuals the public would rightly expect never to be allowed into the UK.

“If we want a sensible and humane migration policy, the only safe option is to Vote Leave and take back control.”

Eurosceptic Tory MP Philip Hollobone earlier this year told the Commons that around 12% of the prison population is made up of foreign nationals and around 47% of those 10,000 inmates are from Europe.

Remain campaigners accused Vote Leave of “scaremongering”.

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