The search for missing schoolgirl Alice Gross has become a murder enquiry after a body was found in a river in west London. My thoughts are with Alice’s family and friends, to lose one so young and in such a senseless way must be utterly unbearable.

The best way to honour Alice’s memory is to do all we can to make sure that this never happens again. Sadly it seems this murder may have been prevented. The main suspect in the case is Arnis Zalkalns, a Latvian who went missing about the same time as Alice. Zalkalns is a known murderer. In his home country, he went into the woods, dug a grave, left some blunt instruments by that grave, enticed his wife into the woods to look at his new motorbike, then smashed her head in and dumped her in the grave. Hard to think of a more cold blooded, premeditated murder.

Yet when Zalkans served his 7 years in a Latvian jail, he was allowed entry into the UK. Thanks entirely to our membership of the EU and it’s free movement of people we have no power to stop known murderers from entering the country. This is absolute insanity. The United States and Australia must look at us in disbelief. Try getting into America with so much as a conviction for possession of cannabis and you will soon realise how ridiculous it is that murderers, rapists and other serious criminals are able to come to our country without hindrance.

To make matters worse, police can’t say for certain whether Zalkalns has returned to his native Latvia, or some other country, or indeed if he’s still in the UK. As we don’t even count people in and out of the country what chance do we have of finding him? On a related note, why was a European Arrest Warrant immediately issued so police could hound the parents of Ashya King across Europe for the crime of disagreeing with the NHS, while no such warrant has been issued for Zalkalns? Don’t get me wrong, the EAW is pernicious, a betrayal of British justice and nothing more than rendition. Those who defend the EAW argue that it will help catch killers and rapists, so can they explain why it has not been used in this case?

It is the primary responsibility of government to protect its people. Not allowing murderers into the country should filed under the heading “stating the obvious”. Sadly in the UK this is not the case. I Tweeted this comment recently:

“Latvian skilled workers welcome. Latvian murderers not welcome. This should not be controversial”

Apparently it was controversial as people I have known for 20 years thought it so offensive that they stopped following me on Twitter. Otherwise intelligent people are defending the right of known murderers to enter this country from some misguided sense of equality or of community cohesion. They are so lost to reason that they cannot see this is not about Zalkaln’s race or nationality, it’s about his criminal record.

Meanwhile Nick Clegg spoke on LBC about the need for greater information sharing between EU countries, presumably thinking that this would prevent future tragedies.

“Where somebody has been convicted of a crime elsewhere in the European Union we need to provide much, much more information. That can easily be fixed. You can create databases and decide which crime you have on that database. You can protect the freedom to move while also protecting our safety by knowing who has a crime against their name so that people can be checked as they move across the European Union.”

The local Labour MP Stephen Pound, who lives on the same street as Alice’s family, said the same. He told BBC Breakfast:

 “For me, the real problem here, what my constituents are furious about – hurt, angry and furious – is how on Earth did we not know that this man, who had been sentenced to nine years in prison, then cut down to eight and then released after seven, was allowed into this country without us knowing? We need to get more data-sharing. We are a European country, we are part of the EU, Latvia is part of the EU, why aren’t we sharing this data?”

Please note that neither man would have actually stopped Zalkalns from entering the country. They are arguing that murderers should be allowed into the UK, but presumably that we then keep a close eye on them, no doubt at great expense. As we know, EU criminals serving their probation in this country are monitored by email.

The answer is not to share more information. The answer is to have an ethical, fair migration policy that is based on an Australian style points system. If you are a known murderer, you simply do not get a visa to enter.

As with Rotherham, those on the left will accuse UKIP of trying to make political gain out of tragedy. Well, proper control of our borders would have prevented the prime suspect in this case from being within hundreds of miles of Alice Gross. Hundreds of cases of child rape would have been avoided if the authorities in Rotherham had done their job and enforced the law equally. If the causes of these tragedies are not in part political then I don’t know what is. So I make no apology. By not addressing the political problems that enable these crimes to happen you are failing the victims, and guaranteeing that there will be more victims to come.

Photo by martinak15

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