In the early hours of this morning police forced more than 60 Roma out of Park Lane, where they have been begging and sleeping rough.
Making temporary homes under Marble Arch and opposite some of London’s most expensive hotels and apartments, the gypsies were removed at 4am this morning by police backed by border officials, Romanian authorities and homelessness workers.
Some 20 of them accepted free flights home, which left this afternoon, with around 30 others given one month to leave the country.
“The squares, gardens and subways of London are for the people who live, work and visit here – not for hijacking by groups of people who have no intention of contributing to the city,” Nickie Aiken from Westminster City Council said in a statement.
Upon their return to Bucharest, the nationals will be offered assistance by authorities, Dr Ion Jinga of the Romanian embassy told HuffPost UK. He added, “In their overwhelming majority, Romanians living in London are well integrated and enjoy the respect of the British citizens and it is utterly unacceptable that this respect be overshadowed by isolated antisocial behaviours.”