The government’s controversial policy of importing criminals to try and bridge Britain’s so-called ‘crime gap’ has come under renewed fire, with the Home Secretary being forced to resign after it was revealed that he had been forced to release several hundred convicted foreign offenders back into the community rather than deport them, due to a continuing shortage of domestic offenders. “It’s a bloody disgrace,” bellowed Tory backbencher Sir Reginald Ronson-Tewke at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday. “What’s this country coming to when it can’t produce its own criminals anymore?” The government concedes that its crime creation initiatives, designed to encourage indigenous criminals, hadn’t proven as effective as they had hoped. “Although these foreign criminals were only ever meant to be an interim solution to the problem, the fact is that right now they are essential – without them this country’s crime rates would fall to disastrously low levels, creating mass redundancies and economic hardship throughout the law enforcement and security sectors,” The Prime Minister told the Commons, in reply to Ronson-Tewke’s outburst. “Every measure we’ve initiated to try and encourage domestic criminals – from criminalising normal youth activities through Asbos, to stigmatising various ethnic groups as potential drug-dealers or terrorists, has failed to make crime an attractive career option for Britain’s youth. Property development, city trading or even just winning the lottery are all seen as more viable means of making a quick buck for the ill-educated, indolent and just plain idle.” Experts fear that Britain’s decline in domestic criminality might be irreversible. “The fact is that the type of countries these ‘crimmigrants’ come from – the former Soviet Bloc, Africa, the Far East – provide the right kind of environment for developing effective criminals,” explains Professor David Chancer of the London School of Economics. “Political repression, grinding poverty – low wages, often accompanied by cycles of mass unemployment – and an absence of any form of education or social welfare for the working classes makes these countries ideal breeding grounds. In fact, they are reminiscent of Britain during its own criminal ‘Golden Age’ of 1850 to 1950!” Chancer believes that the government-sponsored influx of overseas offenders will provide the final death blow to Britain’s once proud home-grown crime industry. “These new criminals are far more vicious and ruthless than our own – they’re hungry for success and won’t let anything stand in their way,” he says. “I’m afraid the good old days of Britain’s gentleman crooks, when it was safe for old ladies to walk around the East End after dark without fear of mugging or rape, are long since gone!”

Victims tend to agree, complaining that criminal standards have dropped sharply since the influx of foreign miscreants. “He was like an animal – all over me and incredibly rough! I was left severely traumatised by the whole experience. Now, a British sex offender would have been far more considerate and gentlemanly,” insists Tara Runcorn, victim of a filthy foreign sex offender who was released on licence after serving two years for sexual assault, rather than being deported. “Not only did he take from behind, without warning, but he dragged me into an alley way and forced me to lie down in the filth and rubbish. In my experience, British sex criminals usually have the decency to at least expose themselves to you first, so that you can see what you are getting. They also tend to use the back seats of cars, which are far more comfortable, not to mention warmer in the winter!” Seventy three year old Roger Macclesfield, a veteran of over thirty muggings, aggravated assaults and burglaries, tends to agree with Runcorn’s assessment of the new wave of ‘crimmigrants’. “I’ve lived round the East End all my life and I can honestly say that all the skill and finesse has gone out of street crime,” he says. “Back in the good old days, the young blokes, they’d usually doff their cap to you before mugging you – the worst they’d do to you was punch you in the face! Nowadays, the bastards will knife you as soon as look at you for a couple of quid, and they’ll probably spit on you as you lie bleeding in the gutter! Burglary’s the same – back in the sixties and seventies, they’d clear up the mess, do a bit of hoovering before they left. Nowadays, they’ll piss all over your carpets, crap on the kitchen table and probably bugger you senseless while you sleep!” Macclesfield believes this malaise is also affecting organised crime in the capital. “I remember when the Krays were in charge – they were lovely boys, always nicely turned out. Now, they were true gentlemen of crime,” he reminisces. “I remember once in the sixties, they were making they’re getaway from a bank job, when my dear old Ma stepped out into the road in front of their car – not only did Ronnie and Reggie stop, but they helped her across the road and back home with her heavy shopping! All that in the middle of a police chase!” By contrast, Macclesfield contends, modern criminal gangs are simply packs of vicious thugs. “They’ve got no respect, these foreign boys – all they’re interested in is the money,” he opines. “If it isn’t these Yardies and Turks with their drugs machine-gunning each other, its those bloody Bulgarians and their vice rings cutting up prostitutes! You didn’t get that sort of thing going on in the street in Ronnie and Reggie’s day – if they were going to cut your ear off, not only did you deserve it, but they’d do it in private, discreet, like!”

Despite such criticisms, the government continues to defend its crime policy. “What other alternatives are there?” Asks a Home Office spokesperson. “We’ve tried putting more mentally ill people on the street through ‘Care in the Community’, but the fact is that most of them are pretty harmless. In spite of what the tabloid press might have you believe, for every psychopathic brain-eating cannibal there are a thousand harmless kooks who shout at lamp posts and believe President Kennedy is alive and well and living on the moon with Princess Di!” Even the ‘War on Terror’ has proven a poor substitute for rampant crime rates as a means of instilling fear into the British public. “Unlike terrorism, people can see crime going on all the time, all around, us – anybody could be a victim! For terrorism to be as effective a fear factor, we’d need a tube bombing every week,” explains the spokesperson. “Without constant fear, how can any government keep the masses in check? They have to believe they’re under constant threat and that only we can protect them, otherwise they’ll get complacent and think they can do without us!” Foreign criminals, he contends, are currently essential for ramping up the fear factor. “They allow the press to play on the public’s innate xenophobia,” he enthuses. “In fact, the more foreign looking they are, the better – this year we’re deliberately concentrating on the middle East and Africa as a recruiting ground for that very reason!” The official admits that the government does have long term plans to create the right environment for a revival of home-grown crime. “You can see the foundations being laid now: an increase in government corruption; more repressive police powers; the trashing of the education system and increasing personal debt,” he says. “But these policies are going to need years, possibly even decades, to become fully effective. In the meantime, Britain is going to have to accept that it is a net importer of crime.”