08:28, September 18 322 0 theguardian.com

2018-09-18 08:28:05
Police chiefs: no-deal Brexit would mean loss of crime-fighting tools

Police chiefs have said a no-deal Brexit would mean the loss of an array of crime-fighting tools and any planned replacements would be less effective.

They said they had set up a unit to limit any potential damage from a no-deal Brexit, including losing access to tools such as the European arrest warrant and information sharing.

Sara Thornton, the chair of the National Police Chiefs Council, said: “Existing EU tools allow us to respond quickly and intelligently to crime and terrorism in the UK and the EU – they make us better at protecting the public.

“The alternatives we are planning to use, where they exist, are without exception slower, more bureaucratic and ultimately less effective.”

She said the new unit would make more use of Interpol and agreements with individual countries, and added: “We have agreed a model that minimises the risks and makes the best use of already pressured police resources. It does not predict a worse-case scenario but it does prepare for it.”

Police say they have access to 40-crime fighting tools through Britain’s EU membership. Richard Martin, the police chief lead on international policing, said it would make it harder to arrest the two Russian novichok suspects if the two men left Russia and entered an EU country. A European arrest warrant has been issued for the pair.