A chief constable in the UK has come out as saying that immigration has led to a rise in certain types of crimes like “knife crime and drink-driving”, and to extra administrative expeditures for which, she says, the police are ill-prepared and under funded.

Julie Spence, of Cambridgeshire police, said immigrant communities, often from the new EU states, had “different standards” from the UK…

Between 2003 and 2004 the number of foreign nationals arrested in the county for drink-driving soared from 57 to 966, although it has since fallen by two-thirds.

Mrs Spence also argued officers could take three times as long dealing with an immigrant offender, partly due to language difficulties.She was backed by the chairman of the Cambridgeshire Police Federation, who added many officers’ time was also taken up educating new arrivals about British culture and laws.

The constable makes it clear she’s not saying these people intend to comit crime, but quite often just do not know that what they can do or get away with easily at home (specifically drunk driving) is against the law and routinely punished in their new country.

It seems like this constable is making a really level-headed plea, and I hope people take it in context, and with understanding instead of using it to draw the conclusion that all immigrants are criminals. It does speak to the importance of having some sort of policy for integration/cultural acclimatization or whatever you want to call it. I’m sure there are rowdy elements in these populations (the article cites Eastern European gangs for instance) but it’s entirely plausible that new immigrants just don’t know what is and isn’t acceptable away from their country of origin.

This response to her plea for funding further illustrates the pressures the county of Cambridgeshire in particular has come under because of increased immigration.