Sunday, April 11, 2021
Home WOLRD Foreign Policy Police ability to detain EU suspects 'slower' without Brexit deal

Police ability to detain EU suspects ‘slower’ without Brexit deal

The ability of UK police forces to detain criminal suspects from the EU will become slower and less effective if the government fails to seal a Brexit security deal, a senior officer has told MPs.

Richard Martin, a deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police and the lead for Brexit and international criminality, said forces would lose the “instant, at your fingertips” access to EU-wide databases on criminals and criminal activity that could be the difference between catching a criminal and losing them.

“There are contingencies in place … but what they are is slightly slower, not as quick, or as effective as the ones that we currently have,” Martin told the Brexit select committee.

His remarks came a day after the Home Office revealed details of the post-Brexit immigration system, under which deportations of EU nationals with convictions for serious crime will be allowed.

However, Martin’s evidence to select committee indicated that police capability to identify EU criminals on British soil would be slowed if there is no deal.

He told MPs it could take 60 days to get criminal records from European counterparts for suspects in the UK compared with six days currently if police could no longer access European Criminal Record Information System (ECRIS).

The committee heard that three countries in the EU, including Germany, have already stopped extraditing their nationals to the UK since the withdrawal agreement in January.

This means that if the German suspect in the Madeleine McCann case were charged, he would be unlikely to be sent to the UK for trial.

Also at risk if there is no Brexit security deal is police access to the Schengen Information System (SIS2), which gives instant cross-border records on goods and people.

The UK is one of the most frequent users of the SIS2 database, accessing it 603m times last year, Martin told MPs.

“[SIS2] It’s at your fingertips, it’s live time, it’s immediate. If we lose that capability, we will revert to Interpol notices which are slightly different They don’t have the full capability of SIS2,” Martin said.

“Our use of the European arrest warrant combined with SIS2 means that my officer, who may be in uniform stopping a car on the streets of London, can identify somebody immediately if they are may be wanted for murder in France. Or one of our other member states can immediately arrest them and put them through the extradition process,” he said.

“The worst-case scenario is my officer is left in an ambiguous position where [if] they do stop a car, they do stop somebody that’s wanted for a very serious offence. And if there are no other grounds to arrest that person there and then, they’ve got to run off to Westminster magistrates court, which is the only court in the land that can issue the warrant. So, yes, there’s a big risk that they could have abscond or disappear,” he said.

EU member states would lose the same ability to instantly ascertain information about suspects wanted by British forces.

Valsamis Mitsilegas, professor of European criminal law at Queen Mary University of London, told MPs it would be “extremely difficult” to get a deal to access SIS without accepting a role for the European court of justice, one of the UK’s red lines.

Martin spoke of the ease with which police forces across Europe currently cooperate with meetings effortlessly set up in Europol’s HQ in The Hague.

“You’ve probably got nine to 10 countries on each floor, so it really is as easy as popping three feet down the corridor and talking to your French, Italian, Polish [counterparts],” he said.

If there was no agreement, the UK would have to move out of the Europol offices but would likely keep a presence in The Hague, just as other non EU countries do such as the US and Australia, Martin added.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Indian Staffing Market will be the largest market in the world, today the industry is an over 6 billion dollar industry, says Mr Sultan...

Mumbai: According to Mr Sultan Khan, Founder & Director of EaseConnect HR Services Pvt. Ltd. Indian Staffing Market will be the largest market in...

HSE Interview Questions & Answers

What is Safety? The condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury is Called Safety. What is the accident? It is an...

Putham Pudhu Kaalai trailer: Five Tamil filmmakers bring five stories of love in the time of Covid-19

The trailer of Amazon Prime’s upcoming Tamil film Putham Pudhu Kaalai was unveiled on Monday by filmmaker Mani Ratnam and composer A.R Rahman. Tamil...