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Willy Bach to discuss Brexit threat to policing and security in Brussels

Leicestershire’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, will travel to Brussels next week to discuss the threat to policing and security in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Lord Bach is one of three members of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ (APCC) cross-party Brexit Working Group, which was set up to examine the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU on domestic policing and security issues.

Lord Bach will meet with the EU Security Union Commissioner, Sir Julian King, to assess the future of cross-border collaboration that is currently underpinned by EU treaties. 32 European law enforcement and security measures are used by the police on a daily basis. If the government is unable to negotiate the retention of these measures after withdrawal, local police forces will face a significant loss of operational capacity.

Areas of concern include:

  • The European Arrest Warrant; this allows a suspected criminal to be extradited from one EU member state to another.
  • The Schengen Information System; an EU wide database that circulates real-time alerts relating to people and property.
  • EUROPOL; the EU law enforcement agency that supports member states in the fight against terrorism, cyber-fraud and serious organised crime.

Access to these collaborative resources could end, causing serious delays and challenges to policing if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

Lord Bach said, “International criminals show scant respect for national borders. Over the last five decades we have put together an integrated set of arrangements to secure seamless collaboration between police and security forces across Europe. These measures are far from the public view, but they keep people safe in Leicester and in towns and cities across the nation. It is essential that they are retained following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Along with my APCC colleagues, I raised these issues with the Home Office during the summer.  The Secretary of State’s response offered some reassurance, but it contained no detail on the contingency plans to keep people safe in a no-deal scenario.

There are two sides in the negotiation. I will be seeking clarification from the EU Security Union Commissioner on the consequences for public safety in the UK and beyond.  It seems increasingly unlikely that the Prime Minister will be able to secure parliamentary approval for a deal and our police forces may need to prepare for a challenging outcome.

Police and Crime Commissioners will work with UK Government and the EU to find ways of protecting citizens in all countries should we be faced with restrictions to European collaboration in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012

Posted on Friday 5th October 2018
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