Romanian police in France to help with Roma policy

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Ten Romanian police officers sent to France to help with Roma policy will be deployed where Romanians have previously been accused of crimes, said a French police memo obtained by AFP Friday.

Where the Romanian officers will be deployed during their three-month mission would be determined by a massive police database of crimes and accusations called the STIC, said the memo, dated Wednesday.

The STIC contains records of millions of reported crimes and those allegedly involved, whether or not those accused are eventually found guilty. Only police are allowed to consult it.

"The places where these police will be sent have been chosen according to operational cooperation needs," the document said.

"These are based on petty crimes committed by Romanians" recorded in the STIC.

The latest batch of 10 Romanian officers arrived in France on Monday, joining four already in the country. Unarmed and in plain clothes, they are acting in a liaison role.

The international community has criticised France's Roma clampdown, which has seen hundreds of the minority sent back to Romania and Bulgaria since the beginning of August despite EU legislation on the free movement of people.

France has said it needs to deal with the Roma because of what the government says is increased petty crime committed by the minority. Bucharest disagrees, and has sent strengthened police cooperation with Paris.

© 2010 AFP

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