10% of foreign criminals can sneak into the UK after fall in number of ‘wanted’ notices from EU since Brexit
- One in ten foreign criminals could sneak into UK after fall in EU ‘wanted’ notices
- Britain negotiated crime and security measures as part of transition Brexit deal
- Home Office sources said EU Interpol notices fell 10% since start of this month
One in ten foreign criminals could now slip across the UK border after a fall in the number of ‘wanted’ notices received from EU nations, it emerged last night.
Britain negotiated a comprehensive package of crime and security measures as part of its transition deal with Brussels at the end of last month.
But part of the system relies on EU member states sending notices for ‘wanted’ criminals through Interpol, the international policing organisation.
Home Office sources said the number of notifications sent through Interpol from EU members since the start of this month is around 90 per cent of what was being received under the old system.
One in ten foreign criminals (stock image) could now slip across the UK border after a fall in the number of ‘wanted’ notices received from EU nations, it emerged last night
The potential information gap raises questions about foreign criminals being able to enter this country undetected because they have not been flagged by police or security services on the Continent.
It has also emerged that EU nationals have been granted until later this year to switch over from using their national identity cards to enter the UK.
When Britain was in the EU, Europeans did not need a passport to cross the border and were allowed to show ID cards instead.
That concession is being phased out under the transition agreement – but the cards will only cease to be valid for entry to the UK from October.
Home Office sources said the number of notifications sent through Interpol from EU members since the start of this month is around 90 per cent of what was being received under the old system. (File image of the Home Office building)
Home Office sources said that this would be a major boost to border security because ID cards are particularly subject to fraud.
EU nationals who are allowed to carry on living in Britain under the EU Settlement Scheme – which accounts for nearly 4.5million people according to the latest figures – will be allowed five years to switch over from ID cards to more secure biometric documents.
Sources have said the deal agreed with Brussels had replaced the vast majority of EU crime-fighting measures which Britain is no longer able to take part in.
Britain had proposed a way to carry on accessing one key database – known as the Schengen Information System II (SISII) – but Brussels insisted it was impossible on legal grounds, they added.
Steve Rodhouse, director-general of the National Crime Agency (pictured), told a home affairs committee last month: ‘I cannot be sure of the extent to which all and every EU member state will make use of the Interpol route’
Last month MPs heard senior police officers express grave reservations about their ability to keep track on foreign criminals when they lost SISII and had to fall back on Interpol.
Steve Rodhouse, director-general of the National Crime Agency, told the home affairs committee at the time: ‘I cannot be sure of the extent to which all and every EU member state will make use of the Interpol route. It may be there is almost complete compliance, in which case the data gap will be minimal.’ He added: ‘But I think it would be right for me to raise prospect that there will be some EU member states, in some circumstances, who don’t use Interpol alerts.
‘And of course, if the UK doesn’t have access that provides a gap for us.’
Earlier this week, former Scotland Yard chief Lord Blair said Britain’s loss of access to EU crime databases had made the country ‘less safe’.
Truckers in Kent fined £32,000 already
By David Churchill Transport Correspondent for the Daily Mail
Lorry drivers in Kent have been hit with more than £32,000 in fines under post-Brexit rules.
Hauliers now need a Kent access permit, which confirms they have the right documents for EU import controls, to enter the county before driving to the Continent.
But figures show 84 have been fined £300 for not having the document since January 1.
The Road Haulage Association said many of those penalised will be foreign lorry drivers who are not yet aware of the requirement, which has to be applied for within 24 hours of entering Kent. More than two dozen others were fined for breaching traffic orders, such as trying to bypass queues. By Wednesday 113 fines were issued, totalling £32,100.
Despite this, Kent Police said the majority of hauliers heading to the Eurotunnel in Folkestone and ferries at Dover are arriving with the right documentation.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix said the volume of lorries heading to the border is set to increase ‘significantly’ in the next few weeks so companies must know what is required.