After the Home Secretary's bombshell admission that the country would be less safe if we leave the EU without a deal, new research by Best for Britain has unearthed the importance of our policing capabilities inside the EU with the UK now facing a return to the days of 'Costa del Crime'.
Sajid Javid shockingly told the The Andrew Marr Show yesterday that the UK would see a "change in capabilities" under a no deal Brexit with no guarantee the country would be as safe.
The Home Secretary's comments come only a week after it was announced that the River Thames speedboat killer, Jack Shepherd, would not be able to stand trial in the UK for another three months as he claims to be living in Georgia - a sham the UK could have cut through by triggering the European Arrest Warrant in a member state.
Now Best for Britain research using 10-year National Crime Agency figures has shown what the loss of the European Arrest Warrant means to police forces and Mi5 chiefs who have been warning of the impending disaster. The figures show that over the last ten years a total of over 2,500 requests have been made to other EU states, resulting in 1,145 arrests across all regions of the country.
Frighteningly, police force reliance on the EAW has risen since the referendum, with criminals now spying an opening in Britain's increasingly poor relationship with other member states. The average number of requests has shot up by a third from the 8 years prior to the referendum, while the number of arrests made from those jumped by 38%.
The data shows why the EAW has been a key weapon in the fight against drug traffickers, earning the nickname "longclaw' after capturing 164 drug traffickers in the last 10 years. Other serious criminals like rapists and child sex offenders were also among the mostly frequently detained, while warrants for manslaughter resulting in murder, Jack Shepherd's crime, saw 25 arrested.
Police forces across the country now face losing this vital asset that brings criminals to justice. Larger forces such as London's Met police, West Yorkshire police and Police Scotland have been the most dependent, although smaller forces in the North East and North West like Cleveland and Cumbria constabularies have also made 9 arrests using the EAW since 2010.
Commenting on the threat, Best for Britain supporter Layla Moran MP said:
“This proves that Brexit, in any form, will damage our safety.
“We’ve been warned by Mi5 chiefs and police commissioners that we’ll be locked out of crucial systems that track criminals and help bring them to justice.
“We’re looking at a return to the days of the ‘Costa del Crime’. If terrorists and child abusers can escape the law simply by crossing a border, ordinary Brits are right to be scared. We cannot let this happen.”