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Counter-terror investigations will be 'clunkier and more expensive' without Europol deal warns Met Commissioner


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No-deal on security would force officers to file individual requests for data on suspects.


Cressida Dick

The country's top police officer admits she has concerns the force’s investigations will be handicapped post-Brexit if the United Kingdom loses access to the Europol database.

This week MPS Commissioner Cressida Dick said her force’s counter-terror capability is in “very very good shape” but is seeing an upswing in right-wing inspired extremist plots being disrupted at the London Assembly’s Police and Crime panel meeting.

She said police are not involved in Brexit negotiations but she is trying to plan for future arrangements which could supersede full membership to Europol and to “understand more about how they could work”.

“We are big users of a lot of the instruments. We are big contributors to Europol. It is likely that if we are unable to access the same things in the same way that we do now it will be clunkier, clumsier and more expensive in any replacement system.

“So it’s important for us in keeping London safe to be able to have access but we fully understand it has become an important part of negotiating between the various parties which is nothing to do with us.

“We have enjoyed sitting on the board of Europol and we have 40 something subject matter UK experts at Europol at the moment. We use the arrest warrant a very very huge amount. And all these things are reciprocal.

“We believe other European countries have very much benefitted from our involvement, not least of course in terms of countering terrorism.  

“We will work with whatever we get in the future of course.”

Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime added the “thought of not being able to use the information sharing or be in Europol is incredibly worrying”.



Ms Linden said she has personally lobbied Secretary of State for Brexit David Davis on the issue together with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

“It does not feel they are getting very far at the moment,” she said.

“It is incredibly concerning and when the commissioner talks about it being a little bit clunkier what that will mean is at the moment officers can interrogate databases when they come across individuals. It will mean they have to ring up and get them one by one.

“That isn’t clunkier when you think about the thousands of times it is being used. Security is really at threat around Brexit unless they really get to the point of making a deal and keeping us in all these arrangements.”

Earlier this week former Europol director Sir Rob Wainwright told the Home Affairs Committee no deal on Europol would be “unthinkable.”

Despite EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier’s public assertions it would be “impossible” for the UK to stay in the European Arrest Warrant, Sir Rob was so relaxed about the future of the UK’s access to Europol MPs asked him why he wasn’t “more worried”.

Sir Rob said politicians may be “closer than they appear” on the issue.

He said: “Maybe I’m less worried than you because when I left Europol I was more assured of how the system was working toward some kind of deal.

“I think we should be worried if reach a point of no deal on security. That will certainly have an adverse ability to fight crime and terrorism.

“It’s still likely that there is an expectation there will be a cooperation.”  

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To lose access to the Europol data base would just show how vindictive, shellfish and corrupt the E.U. is.  No one in their right mind would even contemplate this issue. The E.U. is as reliant on us as we are of them.

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4 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

To lose access to the Europol data base would just show how vindictive, shellfish and corrupt the E.U. is.  No one in their right mind would even contemplate this issue. The E.U. is as reliant on us as we are of them.

Considering we provide vast amounts of Intel via our membership of the 'five eyes intelligence community' I can't see how restricting our access would benefit the EU at all.

I'e often found EU Criminal systems to be slow and cumbersome to access relying on paper records in some nations stored in far off court houses/police stations. A Lithuanian national I recently dealt with it took three months for the Euro Criminal background check to be completed and even then I was advised some information may be incomplete yet we have an open border to these nationals entering the country with no checks taking place at all. People are moving to the UK convicted of serious crimes and we have no knowledge of it until they commit a crime in the UK and the slow checks are conducted.

Many poorer EU states don't even have Any form of PNC... 

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