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31/10/17 11:19

Cross-border policing

Europol chief highlights importance of Scottish policing to Europe.

The need for international co-operation to catch suspects involved in serious and organised crime has been highlighted by Executive Director of Europol Rob Wainwright.

The Director will meet Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and Minister for Brexit Michael Russell as part of a short visit to Scotland later today. Discussions will include Scotland’s role in international cases, as well as the benefits that being a Europol member delivers for the UK and Scotland.

Mr Matheson said:

“Organised crime does not respect borders and it is vital that Police Scotland can work with their counterparts across Europe to help keep Scotland’s communities safe.

“The ability to share information quickly and co-ordinate operations with other law enforcement agencies through Europol is key to detecting, disrupting and detaining criminals across borders and reducing the harm caused by their criminal activity. This was clear from my visit to Europol last year and I would urge the UK Government to ensure this co-operation is maintained.”

Mr Russell said:

“We want Scotland to remain part of the EU and, if that’s not possible, part of the Single Market and Customs Union. A “no deal” Brexit would damage our economy and communities.

“Our part in the work of Europol and the benefits we receive from such co-operation are an excellent example of why we must do everything possible to continue to work across borders with our European partners.”

Europol’s Executive Director, Rob Wainwright said:

“Europol is fully committed to supporting the law enforcement community in the UK in the fight against serious crime and terrorism. For many years this has included outstanding cooperation with Police Scotland and other forces and agencies in the country.

“I am very pleased to visit Scotland this week to review this cooperation and discuss areas for strengthening it in the future.”