Some 27,725 Romanians were arrested for offences in London over the past five years, Scotland Yard said, including 10 for murder and more than 140 for rape.

The figures, published under the Freedom of Information Act, will fuel fears of a crime wave when restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria are lifted in January next year.

Romanians came second only to Poles, who accounted for 34,905 arrests, including 84 for murder and almost 130 for rape.

However, there were some 587,000 migrants born in Poland living in the UK in 2011, estimates from the Office for National Statistics showed, compared with 87,000 Romanians.

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