Many of you will be aware of the anti social behaviour and low level crime parts of Westminster has suffered recently at the hands of a large group of East European aggressive beggars and rough sleepers. Areas from Marble Arch, to the West End and Victoria have been affected.
Westminster Conservatives have been tackling the problem on two levels. First joining the Met and UK Border Agency on joint operations to move the beggars on and clean up after them. Secondly, lobbying the Government to introduce new regulations to allow us to deal with the problem more effectively. Local residents, amenity societies and Business Improvement Districts have also played a valuable and much appreciated role in collecting and sharing evidence and writing to ministers about the scale of the problem.
We are delighted that our lobbying was successful and on 2nd January new legislation was introduced giving the Border Agency the powers to deport those EU nationals who are not exercising their EU Treaty rights properly and preventing them from re-entering the country for 12 months unless they have a job and can demonstrate that they can support themselves. Since the beginning of 2014, 16 such beggars, the majority of them in Westminster begging "hotspots", have been deported.
Westminster Conservatives continues to welcome anyone who wishes to live, work and make a positive contribution in the City. However, anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated by anyone and we will continue to work with residents and businesses to strive to tackle such behaviour head on.