Police boss says he's been gagged on Brexit "chaos"
* North Wales PCC Arfon Jones.
police chief has hit out after being “gagged” to try and stop him from warning
people in North Wales about the threat to law and order caused by the Brexit
region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Arfon Jones, says the National Police
and Crime Council and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has issued
what amounts to a gagging order to the country’s 41 police and crime
latest information from the National Police Chiefs Council and APCC about
policing contingency arrangements for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit are marked
‘CONFIDENTIAL’ and a warning that they are not to be shared more widely.
Jones, a former police Inspector, said: “I believe that if there is anything
that increases the risk of security issues then the public deserve and need to
the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners are very much like the Home
Office in that they like to try and put a security classification on this
my view it amounts to a gagging order but we have been elected and we are under
an obligation to tell people what’s going on in terms of crime and policing.
is certain that whatever is put in place of our existing arrangements with the
rest of Europe will be slower, more cumbersome and more bureaucratic and while
I don’t think this will come as a huge surprise to anyone it does bear
one reason I would support the call by Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts for a
People’s Vote on Brexit now that we know more about the effects it will have.”
Jones’s North Wales region includes the UK’s second biggest roll-on/roll-off
ferry port in Holyhead which deals with huge movements of people and goods with
the Republic of Ireland.
fears that security there could be seriously compromised by a hard Brexit which
would mean that after March 29 next year the UK could be frozen out of up to 32
of the shared services currently used to target criminals across Europe.
them are ECRIS, the European Criminal Record Information Service used 539 million
times by British police last year, Europol, the European Union law enforcement
agency, and the European Arrest Warrant.
Jones said he intends to ask for the publication of planning documents agreed
by the National Police Chiefs' Council on mitigating the effects of a no-deal
Brexit and a report on the visit of Lord Willy Bach, the Labour peer and
Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, to Brussels to discuss future
policing concerns with European Union officials.
NPCC has set up a 50-person unit to determine how to replace current European
policing systems and another team is looking at the pressures on policing a
hard Brexit might create.
Jones added: “When we speak to Europeans about Brexit they are very worried
because the UK is a big player in terms of European policing and if we crash
out of Europe we will crash out of its safeguards against organised crime and
these important tools we currently use for security and policing are now at
risk and could soon be denied to our police forces and the public deserve to
know what is being done to replace them.
risks putting the UK and North Wales in jeopardy. Our co-operation with the
rest of Europe is used to help North Wales Police guard against terrorism,
serious organised crime including modern slavery and human and drugs
hard Brexit will mean starting from scratch, negotiating individually with each
country and using instruments that we currently use for countries outside the
EU and that will mean extradition will be slower and more difficult, and
criminals will evade justice and will find it easier to operate in the UK.”