Migrant workers have not created a crime wave that is blighting large parts of the UK, according to a new study that has been sent to Home Secetary Jacqui Smith ahead of a summit meeting this week.

Up to 800,000 people have registered for work in Britain from many eastern European countries since 2004, but the two Chief Constables behind the report maintain that although some problems have been identified in certain areas overall crime levels have not risen.

The Association of Chief Police Officers canvassed the views of detectives and community officers across the UK. There was no evidence that crime is more prevalent among East Europeans than other groups.

The study acknowledges that the sheer number of migrants in some areas has caused tensions and policing pressures, but the problems are far from endemic.

It is an interesting twist on the headlines we get bombarded with week in and week out regarding crime and immigration.

But what will be more intriguing is looking at how this study and the summit meeting called Ms Smith to discuss the wider issue of immigration is interpreted in different sections of the media – from the considered, to the slightly more slanted approach.

We continue to steer clear of the type of long-overdue, open and informed debate on immigration that we need.

Immigration is shaping up as a key election issue, even though the current financial crisis is dominating thoughts, providing fuel for the flamers but very few answers and common sense.


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