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27th Jun, 2022

Police chiefs voice fears at impact of no-deal Brexit

Sarah Mason 26th Feb, 2019 Updated: 26th Feb, 2019

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) have raised concerns about the effect a ‘no deal’ Brexit would have on policing across the region.

West Midlands PCC David Jamieson said he fears the safety of citizens if the UK leaves the European Union on March 29 without a deal.

Writing The Observer last week Mr Jamieson said: “Brexit, without a deal, puts all that at risk.

“The government has just days left to secure an arrangement with our European neighbours which allows police to continue keeping us all safe.

“There is no room for error.

“In one month’s time, unless proper arrangements are put in place, the policing systems that cross borders and help keep you and I secure will be torn up.

“I am astonished and deeply concerned there is still so much uncertainty. I call upon MPs to factor this into discussions.

“I know West Midlands Police is working very hard to mitigate against all possible eventualities, but in the end the first priority of any government is to ensure the safety of its citizens. At the moment, I fear that safety is very much in doubt.”

At the moment police forces are able to investigate criminals, whether in this country or abroad, thanks to EU agreements that exist between its 28 members.

Those agreements allow officers to share data with their counterparts in other countries, track and monitor people with serious convictions, like sex offenders, when they travel abroad and deport suspects with relative ease.

Mr Jamiseon added under the current system West Midlands Police stands a much better chance of tracking down British criminals who have gone into hiding on the continent.

Once found those criminals can be returned to the UK to face trial and justice can be served, he said.

Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe said: “I strongly support having a deal in place by the end of March 2019, as I believe it is in all our interests to have an orderly exit from the European Union.

“I am therefore concerned about the implications that leaving without a deal would bring for policing, particularly in terms of a reduction in collaboration with our European counterparts and the practical difficulties this may present police forces in the UK, for example through the removal of their ability to access the European Arrest Warrant scheme.

“With the March 29 deadline rapidly approaching, I would therefore urge MPs from all political parties to reflect on the urgency of the situation and redouble their efforts to seek a compromise which would allow the UK to leave the EU with a deal in place.

“In the meantime, I have been impressed by the preparations Warwickshire Police and its key strategic partners around the region are making to plan for all eventualities and ensure the safety and security of the public is maintained, whatever the outcome of discussions in London and the EU may bring.”

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