EU must speed up
the sharing of
5 February 2015
The beginning of 2015 has seen the UK Home Secretary implore the EU to improve the sharing of knowledge where the movements and convictions of known EU criminals are concerned.
Theresa May addressed numerous European Ministers at the Justice & Home Affairs Council in Riga in January, making clear that despite mechanisms existing within the EU for this very purpose, many countries are just not utilising them. May identified this failure by member states to release information on past offenders as continually posing a risk to the European public and highlighted those offenders likely to travel within Europe to be of a particular threat to public safety.
Should this information be shared in a more efficient and timely manner, the UK along with other EU member states, would be able to better protect its borders by preventing the entrance of such offenders into the country. One of the difficulties preventing the sufficient sharing of data is the discrepancy in the length of time it takes different member states to communicate the necessary information. Many member states retain information about spent convictions for serious crimes such as murder for varying amounts of time and the Home Secretary has encouraged them to speed up their processes.
Along with improving its own internal processes to help identify foreign criminals, the UK intends to lead the way for change throughout Europe by heading up the EU-funded international SOMEC (Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals) Project to push other member states to share more information on dangerous offenders and to ensure that the retaining and sharing of this information occurs for appropriate lengths of time.