Each EU country has control over its own police and judicial policies. But criminal gangs, drug traffickers and terrorist networks don’t respect national borders — so it’s important we can work with our neighbouring countries to reduce crime and bring these criminals to justice.
Europol is the law enforcement network of the EU. Although its officers have no powers of arrest — Europol is a coordination and intelligence network, not a police force — they provide vital information and support to police across Europe and coordinate around 40,000 cross-border investigations each year.
- The Victims’ Rights Directive sets a minimum agreed standard for rights, support and protection to victims of crime
- When abroad, Brits have an automatic right to English interpretation in legal issues
- The ‘European area of justice‘ is a concept aiming to ensure that British judgements are recognised in other EU countries and vice versa, saving time and money on bureaucratic procedures
- EU countries are working on mutual recognition of each other’s legal documents, such as birth, marriage and divorce certificates, so people and businesses don’t have to go through costly certification and translation procedures
- Being part of the EU allows us to share and receive key intelligence data and strengthens the fight against terrorism
- From 2017, our police will have instant reciprocal access to fingerprint, DNA and vehicle registration databases from across Europe, so they can identify criminals in minutes (rather than the months it takes to try to do the same via Interpol)
- Restraining orders are recognised across Europe
- EU citizens who commit serious traffic offences in the UK can be held to account even when they’re no longer in Britain
- The European arrest warrant means we can detain and deport foreign fugitives in a matter of hours or days. It also means we can bring UK criminals back to face justice here in Britain