Charity hits out at racial profiling in Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency

Racial profiling

​Romanians are being targeted more than any other community 

12th December 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

People from the Roma community arriving in Scotland are being racially profiled, a charity has claimed.

Friends of Romano Lav (FoRL), which represent Roma nationals, says they are being subjected to different treatment by Home Office officials when arriving in Glasgow from the EU.

The charity says Roma people are living in fear of summary removal by the Home Office as they are being subjected to extra checks against their human rights.

An FoRL spokeswoman said: "This amounts to racial profiling and criminalises a community."

Recently the Home Office rounded up 60 people in Glasgow’s Govanhill detaining 45 Romanian citizens who have either been removed or are in detention prior to removal.

It comes as part of a wider sting involving Police Scotland, HMRC, the DWP and the National Crime Agency, in which a crime ring that had claimed nearly £1 million in fraudulent tax credit claims was uncovered.

However concerns that women and children are being left destitute by these removals were raised at a recent Govanhill Regeneration Group meeting.

"As an organisation supporting Roma communities in Scotland, FoRL understands that Romanian nationals are being subjected to additional questioning at Glasgow Airport, with evidence of employment - such as employment contracts - being demanded at border control to guarantee entry and, where such evidence is not forthcoming, confirmation is made via telephone calls to employers,” said the spokeswoman.

“This contravenes the principle of freedom of movement, with European Union citizens entitled to reside in the United Kingdom for an initial period of up to three months as jobseekers."

Govanhill, first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency, is Scotland’s most ethnically diverse area.

The area has suffered simmering ethnic tensions with charities and politicians alike warning that underfunding of the area is creating a modern-day ghetto.  

It comes as part of a wider sting involving Police Scotland, HMRC, the DWP and the National Crime Agency, in which a crime ring that had claimed nearly £1 million in fraudulent tax credit claims was uncovered.

A total of 60 people, including two Iranians, one Slovakian and 53 Romanians living in Govanhill have been issued with an immigration enforcement notice advising they have no permission to remain in the UK as a result of the operation. 

The spokeswoman added: "While any crimes must be prosecuted and dealt with by the relevant authorities, we have evidence to suggest that, on the basis of specific cases that have been processed, the Home Office is now targeting the Romanian Roma community in general and has been harassing individuals and families without due cause, repeatedly showing up at their homes with the police and demanding to see work contracts.”

Nicola Sturgeon's constituency office has been contacted for comment. 

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