Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cambridge MP Huppert Attacks Move To Pull Out Of European Policing Support


Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has attacked government plans which could see Britain pulling out of European policing and justice measures.

He fears the move would be a backward step in the international fight against drug trafficking and pedophilia, making it more difficult for British police to catch criminals who escape overseas or kick out foreign law-breakers from the UK.

The move has already been condemned by 13 former high-ranking UK police officers who are worried that it will put the public’s safety at risk.

Julian said: “These measures have been hugely successful in recent years in breaking up pedophile rings, preventing terrorism and bringing criminals who escape across borders to justice.

“We have to accept that the criminals who break the law on our streets don’t always stay on our streets and if we are to have a chance of bringing them to justice we have to co-operate with forces across Europe. Withdrawing from these measures would be short-sighted and ill-thought out.

“Unfortunately, some Conservatives are allowing their hatred of all things European to cloud their judgements. They have to step back and think about the repercussions of their actions on the people they have been elected to serve.  

“I accept that some of these measures are outdated and some need reform, like the European Arrest Warrant; but the police are adamant that many are essential for our national security and public safety. They are working with these measures on the ground and we should be listening to them.”

The UK can decide to opt out of all existing European measures for police and justice cooperation under the Lisbon Treaty – a move backed by 102 Conservative MPs. If the government decided to take this action, it may choose to try to negotiate to rejoin specific measures.

  • Julian has called on the government to encourage police forces across the country to study Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Simon Parr’s methods of working after he cut crime across the county by a fifth in two years and recruited 100 new officers against a backdrop of cuts to his budget.  He praised Mr Parr in the House of Commons yesterday (Monday, October 15) and suggested that Policing Minister, Damian Green might encourage other Chief Constables to follow Mr Parr’s lead.  

“Will he suggest that other chief constables look at that model?” asked Julian

Mr Green said: “It shows that good chief constables can decide how to deploy their resources effectively. The vast majority of them around the country are seeing crime fall in their areas, and that is what the public want.”

Later Julian said: “After joining Cambridgeshire Police just two years ago, Mr Parr has reduced crime significantly and recruited 100 new officers despite a 20 per cent cut in his budget.

“He should be congratulated for his excellent management skills which not only instills confidence in his force but also in the general public.”

The full wording of Julian’s question and Mr Green’s reply are as follows:

Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge) (LD): Will the Minister join me in congratulating Cambridgeshire chief constable Simon Parr, both for reducing crime by about a fifth in two years and for announcing the recruitment of 100 new police officers? Will he suggest that other chief constables look at that model?

Damian Green: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for making that point. It shows that good chief constables can decide how to deploy their resources effectively. The vast majority of them around the country are seeing crime fall in their areas, and that is what the public want.