UK Police Check EU Criminal Database 539 Million Times a Year
“We are planning for the worst case scenario. If we leave the EU without a deal we have to fall back on contingency plans. We currently make 539 million checks a year on SIS,” Mr. Martin told reporters.
If an individual is arrested or their name comes up during a police investigation in the UK an officer will check the Police National Computer, which will automatically make a search of SIS if they are an EU national.
Currently 17 percent of people who end up in custody suites in the UK are foreign nationals, a rate that goes up to 27 percent in London.
Mr. Martin said at present it usually takes at most six days to find out if an EU national has a criminal record in their home country or on the continent but if there is a no-deal Brexit nations like France, Spain and Germany would become “Group Two” countries and he estimated it could take up to 66 days to get the desired information from their police databases.
He said if it took 66 days to find out from the Polish authorities — in the absence of SIS — if an arrested person was wanted for murder in Poland, there was a “very high possibility” they would abscond or be wrongly given bail.
Under UK law it is only possible to detain someone for 24 hours without charge, unless they are arrested for a terrorist offence in which case it is 14 days.
He said it was estimated the extra paperwork for police would cost £20 million a year and would take officers off the beat for thousands of hours.
Mr. Martin said the EU Arrest Warrant would also no longer work in the event of a no-deal Brexit.