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Homeland Security

UK Police Say Efforts to Combat Terrorism Impeded by Influx of Migrants

RIA Novosti

13:24 07/11/2014

MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) - High immigration rates in the United Kingdom are impeding the efforts of local police to combat terrorism, that country's most senior police official reports.

Speaking after a counter-terrorism conference in New York, Sir Bernard Hogard-Howe said UK police officers 'struggle to cope' with increasing numbers of people speaking languages other than English and having different perceptions of police, the Guardian reported Thursday.

Hogard-Howe noted that for police officers trying to combat radicalization in both the United Kingdom and the United States it is 'more difficult to integrate with new populations.'

While acknowledging 'great benefits' coming from mass migration, the commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police Service said that the current growth in migration rates is unprecedented. 'So it's just a simple logistical point that the more people that arrive, the more quickly they arrive, all our bureaucracies struggle to cope with that, and the police are no different,' he said.

Hogard-Howe's remarks come after the country's Prime Minister David Cameron announced his plans to curb migration to the UK from other states of the European Union. The decision has been condemned by German chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Commission as a violation of the freedom of movement of EU citizens.

Speaking at the same event, New York City Police department Commissioner Bill Bratton mentioned the 'increasingly sophisticated recruiting efforts' employed by Islamic State (IS) militants to persuade young people to join their self-proclaimed organization. These efforts include propaganda on popular social networks and websites.

According to the UK police chief some 500 Britons are thought to have joined IS in Iraq and Syria and their potential return to the UK poses a serious threat to the country's safety.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2011. In June, the extremist group expanded its attacks to northern and western Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate on territories under its control.

During a video conference held mid-October, the heads of France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States vowed to curb an IS propaganda machine targeting a young western population by broadcasting a stronger message of its own.

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