ACPO urges government to rejoin 29 criminal justice and policing measures following planned withdrawal in 2014
"Intelligence sharing with EU member states regarding potentially dangerous criminals will be undermined if the government does not opt back in to 13 “vital” European crime fighting measures, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has said.
The government is to opt out of 130 criminal justice and policing measures from the European Union in 2014 – most of which are deemed to be flawed or operationally irrelevant to the UK.
Due to the way the process works, the government can only opt out of all the measures en-mass and then try to rejoin those it still believes to be important at a later date.
But one of the measures encompasses a multi-million pound intelligence-sharing system that will provide real time alerts to UK police forces for the first time.
The latest version of the Schengen Information System, known as SIS II, is set to be implemented across member states and also allows forces to post their own alerts about wanted people, vehicles, missing persons, or objects that may require immediate attention. It includes warning markers if suspects, who may have fled abroad, are potentially armed, violent or dangerous.
Information provided by SIS II will be available via the Police National Computer (PNC) – and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said it was “vital we opt back into it”. Previously UK forces had been working towards a 2014 deadline to connect to SIS II.
In its evidence to the House of Lords’ EU Sub-Committee on Justice, ACPO said: “Millions of pounds have been spent preparing for the implementation of SIS in terms of staff committed and the IT infrastructure to support it.
“The benefits for UK policing and public safety are clear.”