Romanian police on Christmas patrol in Paris
Twenty Romanian police officers are working with Paris police to clamp down on criminals from their country in the French capital over the Christmas period. They jion 10 liaison officers who have been stationed here all year.
The 20 Romanian police arrived on Monday 2 December, the Paris police authority announced on Saturday.
They will join patrols dressed in their own uniforms, concentrating on tourist areas, and "contribute to collecting information and the identification of Romanian criminal networks".
The scheme was launched after statistics showed a 78 per cent rise in the number of Romanians arrested in the city of Paris and a 50 per cent rise in the whole region in 2011, according to the prefecture of police.
French politicians, particularly on the right, claim that Roma from eastern Europe are responsible for criminality and begging in and around the French capital.
The Romanian police stop and question Romanians in their own language, collecting information on their provenance and activities and helping French police deal with them.
The fact that they wear their own uniforms allegedly acts as a deterrent and the number of Romanians questioned by police has gone down five per cent this year, officials say.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe