Ludford: Tory eurosceptics’ proposals would be a Fresh Start for criminals

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP

Tory Eurosceptic group Fresh Start yesterday published a report calling for the UK to withdraw from all EU policing and criminal justice measures.

Commenting, Sarah Ludford MEP said:

“These proposals would indeed be a fresh start, for the thousands of criminals who would find it far easier to escape justice.

“UK police chiefs have made it clear: you cannot fight cross-border crime without cross-border police cooperation. Pulling out of EU crime-fighting measures altogether would be a gift to drug-smugglers, human-traffickers and online sex offenders.

“Liberal Democrats are determined not to let the Eurosceptic wing of the Tory party undermine the work of the British police or jeopardise the safety of the British people.”

Sarah Ludford is calling for reform of the European Arrest Warrant in a report to the European Parliament. She added:

“The European Arrest Warrant does need reform, but we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. It remains a vital crime-fighting tool that has prevented thousands of criminals from escaping the long arm of the law. I am now calling for reforms to ensure its use is proportional and respects fundamental rights.”

Notes to Editors

The Fresh Start group of Conservative MPs “Mandate for Reform” can be found here:http://www.eufreshstart.org/downloads/mandateforreform.pdf

Sarah Ludford’s report on the European Arrest Warrant was presented on Wednesday 27th November:http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&reference=PE-522.805&format=PDF&language=EN&secondRef=02

Since 2009, 507 suspects have been extradited back to the UK to face charges using the European Arrest Warrant including 63 for child sex offences, 105 for drug trafficking, 27 for rape and 44 for murder:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/236641/Part_3_by_country_offence_and_nationality.pdf

4005 criminal suspects have been deported from the UK using the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to other EU countries, including 57 for child sex offences, 414 for drug trafficking, 86 for rape and 105 for murder:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/209691/Part_1_by_Country__Offence__and_Nationality.pdf

Mark Lilley, one of Britain’s most wanted men, was captured on 8th July 2013 at his villa in Spain following a joint operation between Spanish and UK law enforcement. He is the 50th fugitive to have been arrested out of the 65 identified under Operation Captura, an initiative launched by the Serious Organised Crime Agency in 2006 which works with Spanish police to capture UK suspects thought to be hiding in Spain: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/get-involved/our-campaigns/international-campaigns/operation-captura/

In March 2011 an operation led by Europol resulted in the dismantling of an international paedophile ring and the arrest of 184 suspected child sex offenders: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12762333

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