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Leaving EU will ‘risk national security', police chiefs warn

Leaving the EU would affect national security, it has been claimed. Picture by Stefan Rousseau, Press Association
Shaun Connolly, Press Association

A BREXIT will endanger national security, Labour's police and crime commissioners have warned.

They have joined forces to sign an open letter urging a Remain victory as British immigration minister James Brokenshire said that there are "no precedents" for non-EU members being able to cooperate fully in security measures with the bloc.

All 16 of Labour's PCC's backed the letter, which states: "From front line officers to chief constables, it is the police who see day to day how EU agencies play a crucial role in keeping us safe".

"Over the last five years, more than 5,000 people have been extradited from the UK on a European Arrest Warrant. That number includes more than 200 alleged killers and rapists and a number of suspected terrorists," the letter reads.

"In return, police in the UK have received almost 650 people that they wanted to bring before the courts, including 51 alleged killers."

Concerns were heightened by a written parliamentary reply by Mr Brokenshire in which the minister said key aspects of the UK's policing co-operation with EU states may be hampered by Brexit.

"Our arrangements for future cooperation under measures such as the European Arrest Warrant, the European Criminal Records Information System, and the Schengen Information System would be brought into question," he said.

Former PSNI chief constable and former head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Hugh Orde said: "This response from the Home Office is clear. If we leave we lose direct access to critical intelligence systems, and the power to quickly and effectively deport wanted people to face justice in other EU Countries."

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