Organised begging by a gang of Roma continues to be a concern across Bayswater and the wider Westminster. We have been repeatedly escalating this issue to the Council who have initiated their response programme. This has recently included a series of ongoing targeted joint operations, involving the police and various arms of the council, to penalise those involved. We, council officers, local businesses and property managers have also coordinated efforts to cut off the supply to amenities that enable this group.
This is a difficult issue, compounded by the High Court ruling in 2017 that deportation was against their Human Rights as EU citizens, using the old methodology. We have met regularly with the police and lobbied the relevant Council cabinet members, resulting in the joint operation targeting this issue and plans to deport those arrested for a third offence. This is a large international operation with complex organisation structures.
We ask that you help by not giving money to the Roma beggars (which is confiscated by those further up the chain) to help dissuade them from targeting the area. We continue to look for ways to combat this and next week we are meeting with the police specialist on Roma organised crime as part of our ongoing efforts to tackle this issue.