Police and Crime Commissioners Matthew Scott and Lord Willy Bach, as APCC Brexit Working Group leads, visited the International Crime Coordination Centre (ICCC).
Both PCCs were given a tour of the ICCC, a unit recently established by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) in response to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The ICCC will act as a centre of expertise to support all UK police forces in using alternative co-operative mechanisms with European partners in the event of a no-deal scenario, aiming to mitigate risk resulting from the loss of EU policing and security tools.
The Centre is part of a wider framework which adopts a three-tiered approach to preparing UK Law Enforcement for change as the UK leaves the EU and embedding an understanding as to how to deal with the threat posed by international criminality. It offers expertise including:
Speaking after the visit, Matthew Scott PCC said:“I was pleased to have been invited by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Martin to visit the International Crime Co-Ordination Centre. It was good to be able to see up close the positive work the NPCC is doing together with local police forces and other agencies abroad to ensure that, post-Brexit, they can all continue to deal with the threat posed to all our communities by international criminality.
‘The APCC continues to make the case, to those involved in negotiating the UK’s future relationship with the European Union, that existing arrangements for cooperation between UK policing and EU agencies must be maintained.”
Lord Willy Bach PCC said: “Brexit or no Brexit, it must be stressed that nearly one fifth of offenders in the UK are foreign nationals. We must do everything possible to ensure that the fight against international crime is not impeded. DAC Richard Martin’s new International Crime Co-ordination Centre has done a fantastic job to get up and running in such a short space of time. Nonetheless, it’s clear that in the event of any loss of access to crime fighting tools and databases, the fallback arrangements will be far slower, and less effective, than those which the police currently use as a benefit of Britain’s EU membership.
“The likely loss of the European Arrest Warrant is particularly troubling. If this comes to pass, the police will be forced to rely on sixty year old extradition mechanisms that are quite unsatisfactory. For instance, were the police in Leicestershire to apprehend an EU national flagged with an Interpol ‘Red Notice’ for a serious offence such as murder, they would have no powers of arrest. In circumstances where no criminal act has been committed on UK soil, the police would have little choice other than to release that person back into the community. I doubt that people voted for this.”