UK did not pass on information of 75,000 criminal convictions
Reports claim that the UK failed to pass on the details of 75,000 convictions of foreign criminals to their home EU countries, and concealed the scandal for fear of damaging Britain’s reputation across Europe.
According to the Guardian, the error on the police national computer was undetected for five years, during which time one in three alerts on offenders were not sent to EU member states. Furthermore, the necessary agencies and authorities in the EU countries were not informed of the crimes committed, the sentences given to their nationals by UK courts or the risk the convicted criminals posed to the public.
This means that dangerous offenders could have travelled back to their home countries without the normal notification to local authorities of their presence.
Minutes of an ACRO criminal records meeting, dated May 2019, state: “There is a nervousness from Home Office around sending the historical notifications out dating back to 2012 due to the reputational impact this could have.”
The discovery of such an error could have a detrimental impact on UK negotiations with the EU, with discussions set to commence on the future security relationship with the UK. Trust in the UK is already shaken, with the European Parliament’s Justice and Home Affairs Committee provided with evidence of ‘deliberate violations and abuse’ by the UK of the Schengen Information System, the EU database used by police and border guards across the border-free Schengen zone.
The UK is to use the upcoming negotiations to seek continued data exchange with British authorities, operational cooperation between law enforcement authorities and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.