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International cooperation on law enforcement

Collaboration in tackling cross-border crime was discussed at a meeting between the Lord Advocate and European Commissioner for the Security Union.

James Wolffe QC met Julian King at the Scottish Crime Campus today (Friday) to showcase some of the innovative ways Scotland’s law enforcement works together to investigate and prosecute crime.

The Lord Advocate emphasised the value to Scottish law enforcement agencies of current Europe-wide arrangements to meet the challenges posed by transnational crime.

Involvement in Europol and the European Arrest Warrant has directly facilitated the prosecution of crimes committed in Scotland.

Since 2009 over 1,000 individuals have been surrendered by other member states to the UK, and around 8,000 individuals have been surrendered from the UK to other member states.

The EAW procedure means that extradition between EU jurisdictions typically takes place significantly more quickly than for jurisdictions outside the EU.

Data sharing is an important feature of the EU arrangements  and the introduction of the Schengen Information System II (a system of alerts) in the UK resulted in a 25% increase in arrests of people subject to EAWs.

The Lord Advocate said:

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to show the Commissioner the state-of-the-art facility at Gartcosh. By being located together on one site, our law enforcement agencies are able to work together more closely and more effectively to tackle serious crime and to keep people safe.

“This was also a chance to demonstrate how Scotland benefits from the EU regime of criminal justice cooperation and to explain that we value our ability to contribute to it.

“Collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries is an expression of our solidarity in protecting our societies and our people from harm, and of our common commitment to the effective and fair administration of justice.”