UK and Spain To Increase Cooperation On Fugitives

By Editorial 26 December, 2013

Britain's and Spain's Security Ministers say they are looking forward to "strengthening and deepening" cooperation on fugitives in 2014, as the UK integrates into a European computer network that will make it easier for police and border officers to share information in real time about criminals on the run.

Home Office Security Minister James Brokenshire and Spanish Security Minister Francisco Martínez Vázquez made a joint statement following a meeting in London in which they also reviewed Operation Captura, which has led to the capture of wanted British criminals who were hiding among expat communities in Europe, for the most part in Spain.

So far, 56 out of a total 76 fugitives have been returned to the UK. The ministers said that they were "determined" to continue with the strategy, and to work even more closely to seize criminals' assets.

From October 2014, the UK will be integrated into the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II). The move will make it easier for the UK to apprehend British criminals hiding in Europe, and for other countries to identify foreign offenders hiding in Britain. The ministers said that SIS II offers "a powerful new means of sharing information", and would help to "turn up the heat" on fugitives.

In the past four years, the European Arrest Warrant has been used to remove 4,000 persons from the UK who were wanted in Europe.

British fugitives from justice have traditionally favored Spain as a hideout because it is possible to assimilate into the large expat community, and because of the reputation Spain gained between 1978 and 1985, when there was no extradition treaty with the UK.

Tags: United Kingdom | Spain | Expats | Welfare | Lifestyle | Lifestyle |


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