Ludford: Lib Dems block Tory attempt to go soft on crime

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPLiberal Democrat MEP and European spokeswoman on justice and home affairs Sarah Ludford has welcomed the news that Conservative plans to opt out of key EU crime-fighting measures have been blocked by Liberal Democrats in coalition government.

Earlier today, following prolonged negotiations within the coalition, Theresa May announced that the government will be opting back in to 35 of the 136 pre-2009 EU police and judicial cooperation measures, including all those deemed vital by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Sarah Ludford commented:

“The Tories are now so blinded by their anti-EU ideology that they have become soft on crime. They were proposing to abandon key European crime-fighting measures which leading law enforcement figures have repeatedly warned are vital for Britain’s national security. 21st century criminal gangs do not stop at our borders. Neither should our efforts to pursue them and bring them to justice.” Continue reading

Ludford: Ashcroft’s Crimestoppers campaign at risk from Tory europhobes

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPTory peer and donor Lord Ashcroft, chairman of Crimestoppers, has been warned that his charity’s new campaign to catch the UK’s most serious criminals hiding abroad will be doomed if the UK pulls out of essential European police cooperation measures as demanded by 102 backbench Tory MPs.

Under the new project ‘Operation Zygos’, Crimestoppers is appealing for information from Cypriots and the expat community on the whereabouts of nine individuals wanted under UK-issued European Arrest Warrants for serious crimes committed in the UK, including rape, child sex assault, drug dealing and serious fraud.

However, the success of the campaign is at risk from 102 Conservative MPs who have called on the UK Government to withdraw from European police cooperation measures despite senior former UK police and security chiefs pleading with David Cameron and Nick Clegg that the UK should stay involved in measures like the Euro-warrant.

Commenting, senior Liberal Democrat MEP, Sarah Ludford, the party’s European Justice and Home Affairs spokeswoman, said: Continue reading