The Deputy Prime Minister met with representatives of NGOs to hear their views on the European Arrest Warrant and human trafficking.
Campaign groups Justice Across Borders, Anti-Slavery UK and ECPAT UK were accompanied by former Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross and Maggie Hughes, whose son Robbie was severely beaten in Crete in 2008. Robbie’s attackers were brought to justice in 2012 after being arrested in the UK under a European Arrest Warrant.
After the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister said:
This was a very productive meeting which focused on an issue of huge importance - what do we need as a country to keep the public safe from crime, and deliver justice for the victims of crime.
While some measures of European co-operation on crime are old, out of date or defunct, the police and other law enforcement agencies consistently tell us that other measures are essential for our national security and public safety.
The European Arrest Warrant is one of those key measures. Without it, victims of crime like Maggie may never have seen those who beat her son nearly to death brought to justice, and as the police say, without it Britain could become a safe haven for Europe’s criminals.
We want to improve the way the arrest warrant works. That’s why we’re introducing some changes domestically, and why we’re talking to our European partners about reform. But this key crime fighting tool should be reformed, not abandoned.
Britain has a long and proud track record of leadership in the fight against organised crime and illegal immigration. I want to see us continuing to lead internationally on this agenda in to the future.