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Real risk post-Brexit security arrangements will leave UK less safe, say peers

The UK will be less safe after Brexit unless “mission critical” EU security arrangements are retained or adequately replaced, a Lords report warns. Peers emphasised the importance to Britain’s law enforcement agencies of a string of tools which have fallen under the spotlight since the referendum in June. Senior figures in policing and counter-terrorism have highlighted the role played in the work by the European Arrest Warrant, the Second Generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) – a database of real time alerts, the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) and Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency. A report from the Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee said: “The arrangements currently in place to facilitate police and security cooperation between the United Kingdom and other members of the European Union are mission-critical for the UK’s law enforcement agencies.” The committee said that evidence it heard over the course of the inquiry pointed to a “real risk” that any new arrangements put in place by way of replacement when the UK left the EU “will be sub-optimal relative to present arrangements, leaving the people of the United Kingdom less safe”. Access to EU law enforcement databases and data-sharing platforms was “integral” to day to day policing up and down the country, according to the assessment. It warned that if the UK lost access to them upon leaving the bloc, information that could currently be sourced in seconds or hours could take days or weeks to retrieve. This would deliver an “abrupt shock” to UK policing and pose a risk to the safety of the public, the report said. The UK and other EU member states shared a “strong mutual interest” in ensuring there was no reduction in the level of safety and security afforded to their citizens post-Brexit, according to the paper.

But the peers cautioned against “assuming that because there is a shared interest in a positive outcome, negotiations will unfold smoothly”. Baroness Prashar, chair of the committee, said: “Protecting the lives of its citizens is the first duty of government and should be the overriding consideration during Brexit negotiations. “Without access to these vital EU tools or credible substitutes, we would be seriously harming the capability of our law enforcement agencies to fight crime and keep the public safe.

“Considering how instrumental the UK has been in shaping EU cooperation on police and security matters we hope the EU acknowledges the vital contribution we have and can continue to make.”

Policing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “The UK is leaving the EU, but co-operation on law enforcement and security with our European and global allies remains a priority for the Government.

“We will do what is necessary to keep people safe and we are working, alongside policing and security partners, to explore options for co-operation arrangements once the UK has left the EU.”

Dorset Police Alerts

Dorset Police have received a report of theft of purse from a handbag which was left on a trolley in Morrisons in Blandford on Friday 2nd October 2015 between 1300 hrs and 1400 hrs
Please do not leave your bags open and unattended when out shopping.
Crime occurrence number 55150101564
any information please contact Dorset Police 101 www.dorset.police.uk1 or crime stoppers 0800 555 111

Thank you to everyone that completed the September survey as part of the Your View campaign, your continued engagement will help shape the future of Dorset s police force.

Furthermore, make sure you look out for the Your View October survey which is going live in a few weeks.

The survey will cover topic areas such as domestic abuse, cyber-crime and mental health.

Click here2 to find out more about the Your View campaign.

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References

  1. ^ www.dorset.police.uk (www.dorset.police.uk)
  2. ^ here (dorset.police.uk)

US begins massive security operation amid fears of terror attacks on Pope …

Reuters

Pope Francis is welcomed by Cubans during his journey from Jose Marti airport to the Nunciature in Havana, on Sept .

19, 2015.

US security agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), have kicked off a massive security operation amid concerns that Pope Francis could be targeted by terrorist groups like the Islamic State (ISIS) and al Qaeda when he arrives in Washington on Tuesday to start his six-day visit to the United States.

Although there are no specific credible threats that exist during the Pope’s visit, events the pope would attend in New York, Philadelphia and Washington would require massive amount of security, according to a bulletin distributed to law enforcement units in the US by the FBI and the DHS and obtained by CNN.

The bulletin said the activities involving Pope Francis have been designated as “national special security events.”

ABC News recently reported that a 15-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly planning to do an ISIS-inspired attack on the pope in Philadelphia.

Law enforcers particularly expressed concern on potential lone wolf attackers “because of the difficulty in discovering such individuals or independent groups until they are operational.”

The bulletin said the pope’s visit may become a “a powerful motivator for groups or individuals with anti-Catholic or anti-Christian viewpoints.”

About one million people are expected to attend Pope Francis’ open-air Sunday mass in Philadelphia . Authorities have identified behavioural indicators of terrorists including “suspicious purchases of dual-use items that could be used to construct an explosive device, unusual or prolonged interest in motorcade movement dynamics and security, and discreet use of cameras or video recorders, sketching, or note-taking.”

The bulletin was issued to “aid law enforcement and first responders in identifying and mitigating threats.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson noted the difficulty of stopping lone-wolf home-grown terrorists.

“It is, for the most part, smaller scale attacks, but, in many respects, harder to detect, because it involves the so-called lone wolf who could strike with little or no notice in the homeland,” he said.

Federal authorities are mobilising large security operations to protect the pope.

The pope is expected to arrive at Joint Base Andrews in Washington D.C . at around 4 p.m .

on Tuesday, Sept .

22.

He is scheduled to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama the following day . In the morning of the same day, there will be a papal parade along the Ellipse and the National Mall and a Midday Prayer with US bishops at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral in D.C . In the afternoon, the pope will preside the Junipero Serra Canonisation Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

On Thursday, Sept .

24, the pope will arrive at the Capitol and deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress . He is also scheduled to visit St . Patrick’s Catholic Church in D.C .

and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.

In the afternoon, he will depart for New York from Joint Base Andrews . Following his arrival at John F . Kennedy International Airport in New York, he will hold an evening prayer at St .

Patrick’s Cathedral.

On Friday, Pope Francis will attend a session of the United Nations General-Assembly and a multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center.

In the afternoon, he will visit the Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, hold a papal motorcade through Central Park, and officiate in a Madison Square Garden Mass.

On Saturday, Pope Francis will depart for Philadelphia where he will hold a Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts . Peter and Paul . He is also scheduled to visit the Independence Mall and the Festival of Families at Benjamin Franklin Parkway before attending a prayer vigil with World Meeting of Families.

On, Sunday, the pope will meet with American bishops at St .

Martin’s Chapel, St .

Charles Borromeo Seminary, visit a correctional facility, and preside a mass for World Meeting of Families before departing for Rome.

The US Secret Service is in charge of coordinating the massive operation on counterterrorism operations, crowd management, crisis response and air and vehicle traffic control along with the FBI, Capitol Police, Coast Guard, Pentagon .

Federal Emergency Management Agency and local police.

On Friday, while Pope Francis is in New York, the US will also welcome another major world figure Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose visit will pose an additional security challenge to the US.

“They’re standing up one of the largest security programmes for an individual in US history over three cities,” said Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent who assisted in security preparations for Obama’s 2013 inauguration. “The level of protection afforded to Pope Francis is equal to or exceeding that provided to the president of the United States.”