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SIS II replacement : “an I-LEAP of faith”

The London Assembly Police and Crime panel has been told that CT policing mechanisms post-Brexit are “slower and more cumbersome”.

Certain CT policing mechanisms have become slower and more cumbersome after Brexit, MOPAC’s Director of Strategy and MPS oversight has said. 

Kenny Bowie listed a number of mechanisms affected by Brexit which have in turn made the process of policing “slower and more cumbersome”

Mr Bowie is also the ex-Head of the International Criminality Unit in the Home Office. 

“If you look at something like the European Arrest Warrant, that would be replaced by the European Convention of Extradition from 1957,” he explained. 

“I believe there’s about 13 or 14 states who have constitutional bars on extraditing their own nationals. 

“For example, if there was a German national here who was to commit an atrocity and go back to Germany – it would not be possible to get that German national extradited back to the UK.” 

He added that the replacement for the Prum arrangements with regards "to how you wash DNA against other things" would not be as quick or efficient through Interpol or through any other mechanism. 

Meanwhile, the Home Office are currently replacing the Schengen Information System II with their own system – I-LEAP (International Law Enforcement Alerts Platform). 

It’s something Mr Bowie describes as an “I-LEAP of faith” in that the plan is to build it and then hope others will join. 

“Given that many of the people are already on the Schengen Information System [that’s ] questionable – I do commend their ambition in that field.”

Meanwhile Commander Richard Smith, Head of Counter Terrorism Command, said that good relationships with colleagues in Europe have “remained strong” throughout the changing relationship between countries. 

He added that it would be extremely difficult to compare the pre and post Brexit situations accurately and that policing from the outset has tried to anticipate changes and make replacements to ensure they are in the best possible position. 

But, he said he would commit to make sure relationships and the exchange of information is as good as it can be. 

“I’m confident we are doing that,” he said. 

But Mr Bowie added: “Impossible to say on a case-by-case basis, clearly doesn’t impact the sharing of intelligence but is it slower and more cumbersome for law enforcement as a whole to deal with the capabilities which have been lost or not brought in because of Brexit?

“I think it’s undoubtedly the case.”

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