LibDems will fight for UK participation in vital EU police cooperation
Commenting on today’s announcement by the Home Secretary Theresa May regarding the handling of a decision on UK participation in EU policing and crime-fighting measures, LibDem European justice spokeswoman Sarah Ludford MEP said:
“A Eurosceptic-driven policy of disengagement from European cross border crime-fighting would torpedo UK efforts to curb organised international crime estimated to cost us £40bn a year. David Cameron and Theresa May must listen to police and intelligence chiefs, not to the crazy Tory headbangers."
“There are hundreds of success stories of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) getting alleged criminals back quickly and into our courts, such as the 21/7 attempted London terrorist bomber Hussain Osman, suspected paedophile Martin Anthony Smith and just last week Jeremy Forrest."
"There must now be a proper in-depth consultation before a parliamentary vote, as well as coalition negotiations. Liberal Democrats will fight to maximise UK participation in key EU measures while pressing for reforms in the operation of the EAW to avoid its use for minor offences and make it fairer."
Notes to Editors:
Under the Lisbon Treaty, the British Government must decide by June 2014 at the very latest whether the UK will remain a participant of all existing pre-Lisbon EU legislation in the field of police and judicial cooperation after 2015. In practice a list of measures the UK wants to stay part of is seet for negotiation. The government has promised a vote in both Houses of Parliament on the matter, after consultation.
National & Local Successes/ Cases:
· Operation Golf, a joint investigation between the Met, Europol and Romania, which broke up a pan-EU organised child trafficking network. 121 individuals across Europe were arrested and 181 children were freed.
· Operation Rescue, where the Met teamed up with Europol to coordinate a 30-country investigation, cracking open the world’s largest online paedophile network. Over 184 arrests were made, and 230 sexually exploited children were released, including 60 in the UK.
· The EU-wide search for Hussein Osman, one of the failed 21/7 London bombers, who was tracked down and arrested in Italy and brought back to the UK using the Arrest Warrant to face trial within a matter of weeks.
· Jeremy Forrester, the teacher wanted for child abduction, was arrested in France under a European Arrest Warrant and brought back to the UK in 12 days.
· The murder of the British family in Annecy in France is being investigated through a ‘joint investigation’ between British police, French police and Eurojust.
· An EU-wide hunt is on for a former priest wanted for multiple child sex offences thanks to a UK-issued European Arrest Warrant.