Racist Attacks Target Polish Immigrants - But Their Numbers Falling

There has been an increase in the number of apparently racially motivated attacks in Co Armagh.

Police have said they are "extremely concerned" about an increase in these racist attacks in Portadown.

As a result, officers are on daily patrols in the Killycomain area and have introduced extra weekend patrols as well.

Speaking through an intepreter on BBC Radio Ulster today, one Polish woman - who didn't want to be identified described how her son was attacked.

"He was hit on the head by two boys and was taken to the hospital, he had stitches on his head, and that case was reported to the police", she said.

However, the huge influx of Polish workers, which has transformed the labour market across the whole of the UK, has peaked, official statistics have now disclosed.

More than 750,000 east and central European immigrants have flocked to all parts of Britain since eight former eastern bloc countries joined the EU in 2004.

But the tide seems to be turning as the economies of the new EU member states strengthen.

The numbers of east European immigrants approved to work in Britain dropped from 227,875 in 2006 to 206,905 last year, a fall of nearly 10%, and the trend is expected to accelerate over the next decade.

Poles, who make up two-thirds of the newcomers, are understood to be returning home in greater numbers, drawn by higher salaries, job shortages and the fall in the value of the pound.

Danny Sriskandarajah, Head of Migration at the Institute for Public Policy Research, said some were choosing to work in other EU countries which were loosening employment rules.

"Migration from Poland is very unlikely to continue at the levels we have seen in the first few years we have seen after enlargement," he said.

"It has always been a question of when these flows started drying up, rather than whether they would."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 March 2020
Head Teachers Union Welcomes School Closures
The National Association of Head Teachers has welcomed the news that all schools in Northern Ireland will close from Friday.
16 March 2020
Firm Fined After Man Dies At Livestock Market
A Co Tyrone firm has been fined over the death of a man at a livestock market in Clogher, Co Tyrone. Mr Harry McAnespie died after being struck by a gate at the event in June 2018. Clogher Valley Livestock Producers has since pleaded guilty to one breach of health and safety legislation at Dungannon Court.
27 November 2019
Teen Girl Dies After Falling Into River
A teenage girl has died after falling into a river in Larne. It's understood the 14 year-old fell into the water on Tuesday night, 26 November. Emergency services scrambled to the Inver River, where a search operation was carried out. A post-mortem is due to take place.
11 February 2020
Sinn Fein Comes Under Dissident Threat
Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O'Neill has been warned of planned attacks against herself and party colleague Gerry Kelly by dissident republicans. Northern Ireland's deputy First Minister was informed by the PSNI of intelligence pointing to attacks targeting her and Gerry Kelly MLA, the party's policing spokesperson.
25 August 2015
Heart Attacks Kill Six People In NI Every Week
Heart attacks kill six people in Northern Ireland every week, according to research by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). 314 people aged under 65 died from heart failure last year. In 2013/14, there were 5,400 heart attacks treated in Northern Ireland hospitals. This figure has risen from 4,600 the year before.