The head of the City of London’s police force has warned that Britain’s departure from the EU will leave it “on the back seats” on intelligence-sharing arrangements.
Ian Dyson, the Commissioner of City of London Police, said the UK’s impending exit from the Europol joint policing agency could affect his ability to apprehend criminals overseas.
The warning is especially acute for policing London’s Square Mile financial district, which is a target for large-scale economic crimes by organisations with an international presence.
In response to a question from Business Insider at a media briefing this week, Dyson described how an exit from Europol would detract from the “richness” of intelligence available to his officers.
He said: “Europol is, I think, a very impressive intelligence outfit, it feeds intelligence in from a whole host of agencies, not just policing, across Europe, and it does add to the richness of the information.”
He said Europol information has helped his officers in the past who were investigating terrorism, money laundering, and fraud.
Dyson continued: “Europol is a European institution, so we cannot be a member of it if we’re going to leave the EU. At the moment, a significant chunk of the intelligence that goes into Europol comes from the UK.
“We are sitting around the table in terms of how we prioritise, how we shape these organisations’ response. We leave Europe, we will be on the back seats.
“Other countries sit on the back seats, but I’m not quite sure what that means for me as an operation head in terms of my ability to operate across Europe.”
Police in countries like Turkey and the United States are partner agencies with Europol, but not full members.
At one point, the UK had hoped to remain a full member, but last November the EU said in no uncertain terms that British would have to leave, a position the UK appears to have accepted.
Dyson also said the potential loss of the European Arrest Warrant, which allows EU forces to ask each other to arrest suspects in their jurisdictions, would be a blow.
However, in a recent speech Theresa May said that the arrest warrant, and close ties to Europol, will be priorities in the Brexit negotiations, and that a lapse in the agreements is something neither the EU and UK “cannot let… happen.”
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