UK 'should not lose or dilute this vital tool for the sake of political rhetoric' says MEP after European Arrest Warrant success - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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UK 'should not lose or dilute this vital tool for the sake of political rhetoric' says MEP after European Arrest Warrant success

Friday, 5 October 2012
Ahead of the imminent extradition of Jeremy Forrest back to the UK, missing for almost a week but found within 24 hours of an European Arrest Warrant being issued, South West Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson has penned a letter hailing the benefits of the measure to UK police forces and why David Cameron would be "foolhardy" to exercise the UK’s opt-out for the sake of appeasing his MPs.

Printed in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph under the over simplistic heading of 'Arrests in Europe' it reads:

"SIR – The case of Jeremy Forrest, the maths teacher who travelled to France with his pupil (report, October 1), highlights why it would be foolhardy for David Cameron to opt out of EU measures on crime and policing. It is a clear demonstration that the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is a critical tool for the British police. The warrant offered Sussex Police a simple, rapid and cost-effective method of mobilising police support across the Continent.

Mr Forrest’s speedy return is in stark contrast to the days before the EAW, when the extradition process and delays meant that even Trevor Masters, a convicted sex offender, could argue for two years in the French courts before being returned to captivity in Britain.

Our police forces rightly recognise that the EAW is a useful tool in their armoury; it has been used to bring serious criminals – such as the London bomber Hussain Osman – back to these shores to face justice. We should not lose or dilute this vital tool for the sake of political rhetoric.

Sir Graham Watson MEP (Lib Dem)
Langport, Somerset

Baroness Sarah Ludford, one of Sir Graham's colleagues in Brussels, is similarly concerned at the Conservative Party's intentions to exercise their opt-out and threaten Britain’s ability to fight serious crime. She has set up a petition of her own, which can be found here:


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1 Comment(s):
Anonymous Anonymous said...
The European Arrest Warrant was useful in bringing Hussain Osman back to these shores but he should never have escaped Britain in the first place. A little noticed BBC News report by Andy Tighe following Osman’s conviction in July 2007, reveals that -

“Days later (four days after the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes) the real Osman emerged from a block of flats here in this South London street (Newport Street, SE11, home of Ismail Abdurahman). The BBC understands it was being watched by police. There was even a firearms unit nearby, but perhaps mindful of the awful events at Stockwell they didn’t intervene. So Osman was able to travel to Waterloo Station where he took a train to Paris (carrying a rucksack through the Channel Tunnel!) and on to Rome.”

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