Diplomats from the Embassy of Romania in London and police officers from the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs on 19th July 2013, attended the Operation Chefornak organised by the Metropolitan Police London in partnership with the local authorities of City of Westminster, Home Office – Immigration Service as well as the NGO Thames Reach which is specialised in providing assistance to homeless people.
The main purpose of the operation was the removal from the Marble Arch, Park Lane and Hyde Park areas of around 60 Romanian nationals of roma ethnicity who had been illegally camping and sleeping roughly on the green spaces and public gardens, as well as in the subways. The operation also aimed at identifying and dealing with any antisocial behaviour such as theft or begging committed in the area.
The Romanian Embassy in London has developed a close cooperation with the Local Council of Westminster as well as with other London’s local authorities. As part of this cooperation, the Romanian Ambassador, Dr. Ion Jinga met Councillor Nikie Aiken of the Westminster City Council on the 17th of July, 2013. They both agreed that in their overwhelming majority Romanians living in London are well integrated and enjoy the respect of the British citizens and it is utterly unacceptable that this respect be overshadowed by isolated antisocial behaviours.
During the operation, 61 Romanians of roma ethnicity were identified and today, based on their voluntarily consent, a large proportion of them will be returned to Romania.
The Embassy of Romania has provided support to the operation Chefornak through the police & home affairs attaché, and the labour & social affairs attaché. Upon their return to Romania, the Romanian nationals will be offered assistance by competent authorities.
The attendance of the Embassy’s representatives to the Chefornak operation was considered by the British authorities extremely useful, and is part of a set of measures that Embassy of Romania has initiated, aiming to tackle the problems of those homeless with Romanian citizenship involved in anti-social activities.
The Embassy has boosted the cooperation with the British law enforcement authorities through joint projects that include in the next period of time the secondment of a total of 15 Romanian police officers in various forms of cooperation. At social level, the Romanian nationals were advised on the conditions to reside and work in the United Kingdom and were informed about the support measures provided by the Romanian authorities in areas such as employment and social assistance.
The involvement of the Romanian Embassy in this operation is part of the cooperation and projects they have developed with British partners, in order to protect the good reputation of the overwhelming majority of Romanian citizens living in the United Kingdom who work hard, pay taxes and are highly valued by their employers and British colleagues. Through their honest efforts, they contribute to further develop and strengthen the strategic partnership between Romania and the United Kingdom.