Nationals of Poland, Romania and Lithuania are most likely of all foreigners to be prosecuted by the police, an investigation has revealed.
Overall, foreigners are accused of one in four of all crimes committed in London.
Astonishingly, they make up nine out of ten drug suspects and are responsible for more than one in three sex offences.
Four years ago, foreign nationals were found to commit one in five crimes.
A string of horrendous attacks carried out by Eastern European criminals in recent months has raised concerns over the lack of checks on new arrivals.
Earlier this week a Polish burglar was jailed for at least 34 years for the murder of an elderly couple in their home – just one week after he arrived in the UK.
Ireneusz Bartnowski, 22, stabbed and battered to death grandparents Guiseppe and Caterina Massaro in Wolverhampton.
He lay in wait in their bedroom and attacked them with a knife and a hammer, the court heard. The Metropolitan Police statistics were unearthed by the London section of BBC Politics.
From September 2010 to August 31 last year, the Met proceeded against 195,714 alleged criminals. Of those, 46,588 were foreign nationals – or 24 per cent of the total. The remaining 149,126 individuals were British.
Seven of the top ten offender nationalities were European. Poland came top with 4,742 alleged offenders, ahead of Romania with 3,952 and Lithuania with 2,561. Police processed 436 Australians. The programme makers spoke to one Polish ex-offender who said the British legal system was weak.
Polish criminals thought British prisons were like being in ‘a spa’, he said, adding they would ‘think twice’ if they thought they would be sent home to serve time.
Last month, Lithuanian Rimvydas Liorancas hanged himself in prison while on remand for the double murder of Carole and Avtar Kolar at their home in Birmingham.
After his death, it emerged Liorancas got into Britain despite a conviction for armed robbery.
Earlier this month, a senior judge demanded to know why a Lithuanian child-rapist, Victor Akulic, was let into Britain, where he went on to beat and rape a woman.
He had been jailed for nine years in his homeland after raping a seven-year-old.
Critics say Britain’s open borders with other EU members make it impossible to control who comes and goes. In many cases, Brussels regulations make it impossible to stop criminals from entering even if we know of their convictions.
EU laws also restrict the Government’s ability to send criminals back home after prison.
More than 11,000 foreign national offenders are behind bars in England and Wales.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: ‘Any foreign national offender sentenced to more than 12 months in prison is automatically recommended for deportation.’
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