Nigel Farage said: "UKIP will never allow the false accusation of racism levelled by a politically correct elite to prevent the raising of issues that are of concern to the great majority of the British public.
"The unfortunate reality is that we are in political union with a post-Communist country that has become highly susceptible to organised crime.
"Where there are differential crime rates between nationalities, it is perfectly legitimate to point this out and to discuss it in the public sphere and I shall continue to do so.
"Police figures are quite clear that there is a high level of criminality within the Romanian community in Britain. This is not to say for a moment that all or even most Romanian people living in the UK are criminals.
"But it is to say that any normal and fair-minded person would have a perfect right to be concerned if a group of Romanian people suddenly moved in next door. So far as I can see most of those media commentators objecting to this statement are people living in million pound houses for whom the prospect of such a turn of events is not a real one.
"Of course, if we were able to operate a proper work permit scheme for Romanian nationals, with suitable checks, as recommended by UKIP, then nobody would need to be concerned if a group of Romanian nationals moved in next door to them. "
High levels of crime associated with Romanian nationals in Britain, corroborated by police sources and statistics, have been a major talking point in the British media for several years.
See, for example, Daily Mail 30/11/2013 disclosing that "More than 27,000 Romanian citizens have been held for serious offences in London in the past five years, including ten for murder, 142 for rape and 666 for other sex offences."
Also Daily Express 11/1/2014 "Romanian gangs 'behind half of pickpocketings'"
Also London Evening Standard 03/10/2013 "Europol warning over Romanian gangs"
Also The Sun 10/11/2013 "We're coming to Britain as it's easier to steal and pickpocket"