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Nominals and stolen documents system to provide real-time EU alerts

INTERPOL connected system designed to fill the gap left by Schengen Information System withdrawal

The Home Office is to spend £75 million on a new international alerts system that will give UK police forces real time access to details of wanted persons, stolen vehicles and stolen travel documents issued by EU member states.

The I-LEAP programme is designed to replace the Schengen Information System (SIS II) which the UK lost access to after leaving the European Union. But the success of the new system will be dependent on the UK negotiating bi-lateral criminal data exchange agreements with each EU member.

The Home Office has set itself a target to conclude one bilateral agreement with each State every year from 2023.

The programme is designed to provide the alerts via a real time link to INTERPOL’s systems.

The UK has returned to using INTERPOL for systematic exchanges of alerts with law enforcement agencies in the EU -  arrangements for which were in place before the UK joined SIS II in 2015.

But there is significant work required before the new arrangements match what was possible with SIS II which was automatically shared among the 27 EU member states.

The overall aim is also to combine existing international cooperation functions in the NCA’s UK International Crime Bureau (UKICB) and International Crime Coordination Centre (ICCC) into the Joint International Crime Centre (JICC).

The JICC will sit within the NCA and will deliver “a more effective combined service to domestic and international partners,” according to the Home Office.

The plan is for I-LEAP to provide real-time INTERPOL searches over datasets which would include nominals, Travel Documents Associated With Notices (TDAWN), Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (STLD) and Stolen Motor Vehicles (SMV).

This capability would be made available to UK Policing, Border Force and the NCA.

Total programme development costs are £45.67 million. Costs over a 10-year whole life period have been estimated at £75.7 million.

The Home Office says  I-LEAP is being funded by its International Criminality Directorate (ICD) for the duration of the programme. It adds that “an appropriate long-term funding model will be agreed between the Home Office, Treasury and UK law enforcement partners.”

It adds: “The review team noted that the I-LEAP programme is heavily dependent upon the UK securing bilateral agreements with other countries and that this may impact the realisation of the programme’s benefits.”

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