In the past decade, the number of Europeans locked up for robbery has doubled, for violent crimes it has more than trebled and for sexual offences it has quadrupled.

A total of 2,696 were put behind bars last year – the equivalent of more than 50 per week – compared to the 1,321 jailed in 2002.

In 2002, judges jailed 196 violent offenders from European countries, 84 sex offenders and 132 robbers but the figures rose to 610, 335 and 262 respectively last year.

The number of EU citizens not from Britain handed indefinite sentences in courts in England and Wales has risen from 98 in 2002 to 367 in 2011, the figures show.

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