UK police risk loss of access to key European database

The Schengen Information System II [SIS II] was accessed by UK police forces 539 million times in 2017. It is a database that monitors the movements of sex offenders and suspected terrorists but a ‘no-deal’ Brexit could see the UK denied access to the facility if we become a ‘third country’ outside of the EU.

The SIS enables law enforcement agencies in member states to enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and suspicious objects. A SIS alert not only contains information about a particular person or object but also clear instructions on what to do when the person or object has been found.

As the access figures suggest, the database is used on a daily basis by UK law enforcement agencies for day-to-day operational policing.

As a precaution the Home Office has sanctioned £2.4m of expenditure to create a ‘no-deal safety net’ to compensate for losing this and other EU tools to fight crime. The figure includes £250,000 on the lease of an office building because the Metropolitan Police Service does not have the capacity to house the new department working on the safety net.