BREXIT might make British borders marginally more secure but will cut both ways, making it more difficult to kick foreign criminals out of the country according to a top police chief.
The chief constable of the Northumbria police force believes Britain will be a far more desirable location for international crooks and gangsters if British police lose access to invaluable European arrest warrants.
Steve Ashman said it was of vital importance that Britain be able to share in surveillance and information-exchange operations across the continent and maintain easy and effective extradition procedures.
“We have benefited from our access to information from our European counterparts, our ability to form joint investigation teams where you have cross-border criminal behaviour and our ability to secure European arrest warrants,” Ashman told the Guardian.
“I would have some real concerns if we were to walk away from or tear up those agreements,”
Almost 1,000 hardened criminals, including rapists and murderers, have been captured in and extradited from the UK under European arrest warrants since they came into force in 2004.
“I think if you lose the ability to extradite people effectively then one might also argue that that’s going to make us quite attractive to a particular criminal group,” noted Ashman.
While tearing up the European Convention on Human Rights is viewed by some activists as a means of deporting foreign criminals with greater ease, the situation regarding European crooks would be complicated by Brexit.
With no common extradition policy the process is likely to take far longer with extra bureaucratic impediments, harking back to the days when bilateral disputes affected extradition treaties as seen between Spain and the UK in the past.Only this time it will be the ‘island of crime’ as the dregs of Europe seek refuge in Britain.