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Brexit would hamper Britain’s fight against terror, police boss warns

Brexit would hamper Britain’s fight against terror, police boss warns

🕔23.May 2016

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is the latest senior Labour figure to back Britain remaining in the EU, warning that Brexit would make the fight against terrorism more difficult.

Mr Jamieson said it was essential to maintain links with Europe in order to fight major crimes such as human trafficking and terrorism and he urged people to vote Remain in the referendum on June 23.

The police commissioner added:

The outcome of the EU referendum is the most important decision for the people of the UK will make in 50 years.

The West Midlands currently gains a lot from its strong links with EU partners, especially on the big issues such as terrorism.

Europol – the law enforcement agency that covers the whole EU – recently revealed how organised crime gangs are spreading their tentacles far and wide.

Gone are the days when criminals would operate in one single area. Today, they are highly-mobile, tech-savvy with no geographic boundaries. Our enforcement needs to be equally mobile and work across national boundaries.

Obviously, these gangs would operate on the continent and in Britain with or without our membership but staying in allows us to track, trace and capture them far more easily.

Mr Jamieson said he believed the lines between organised crime and terrorism were becoming more blurred with terrorists often financing their attacks through criminal activities.

A new EU Police and Criminal Justice Authorities Directive will allow for a smoother exchange of information between member states. Authorities will no longer have to apply different sets of data protection rules according to the origin of the information – saving time and money and making the fight against crime more efficient. Criminals cannot hide from justice by moving to another country.

Mr Jamieson added:

The Europen arrest warrant, meanwhile, means faster and simpler surrender procedures for suspects. Because of the EAW, EU states can no longer refuse to extradite one of their citizens on grounds of nationality. Extradition no longer requires a political decision for a suspect to be handed over.

Bearing all this in mind, I believe it is vital for the UK to continue to make the most of this joined-up intelligence and action at an EU-level. International crime requires an international response.

Offences such as cyber crime, human trafficking and terrorism have no regard to borders therefore swift co-operation across the EU is essential.

Only continued membership of the EU can secure that international response to crime.

Mr Jamieson was re-elected police commissioner for a four-year term on May 5.

A statistical breakdown of the 40 police area elections across England and Wales indicates a slightly higher turnout than 2012, the first time police commissioners were elected.

  • The elections were contested by 188 candidates; 40 Conservative, 40 Labour, 4 Plaid Cymru, 34 UKIP, 30 Liberal Democrat, 7 Green, 25 Independents and 8 ‘others’.
  • There were 29 female candidates representing 15 per cent of all candidates – a decrease of three per cent on 2012.
  • 20 Conservative, 15 Labour, 2 Plaid Cymru, and 3 Independent candidates were elected. The number of female PCC candidates elected was 8 (20%), an increase of two per cent on 2012.
  • Turnout averaged 26.6 per cent across all 40 police areas – an increase of 11.5 per cent compared to 2012.
  • Over 311,000 ballots were rejected in the first round of voting at the PCC elections (3.4 per cent of total ballots). This is an increase of 0.6 per cent from the 2012 election.

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