To help keep people informed of the issues in Brexit that involve the safety and security of citizens in the UK and how this affects Europe, Safe Communities will be keeping our readers up to date concerning what has been agreed between the UK and Europe, but as we are all aware not yet been put before parliament.

As you are aware there are two main documents; the Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union which comprises 585 pages and the 26 page Draft Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, agreed at negotiators’ level and agreed in principle at political level, subject to endorsement by Leaders.

It is very important that people understand that the security of of country, its residents and those visiting is not just dependent on the number of police officers, how they are deployed etc, but what goes on behind the scenes. This means the sharing of data between countries, the process of sharing investigations and the efficient means of bring culprits to justice through international binding arrest warrants.

Without these measures in place and faced with crimes of an international dimension, such as cybercrime and money laundering, Europe as a whole would be a less safer place.

Although not a legally binding document I will start this series by outlining the provisions of the Draft Political agreement:

General Principals – With a view to Europe’s security and the safety of their respective citizens, the Parties should establish a broad, comprehensive and balanced security partnership. This partnership will take into account geographic proximity and evolving threats, including serious international crime, terrorism, cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns, hybrid threats, the erosion of the rules-based international order and the resurgence of state based threats.

Law Enforcement and Judicial Co-operation Criminal Matters – The future relationship will provide for comprehensive, close, balanced and reciprocal law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, with the view to delivering strong operational capabilities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences, taking into account the geographic proximity, shared and evolving threats the Parties face, the mutual benefits to the safety and security of their citizens, and the fact that the United Kingdom will be a non-Schengen third country that does not provide for the free movement of persons.

Data Exchange – Recognising that effective and swift data sharing and analysis is vital for modern law enforcement, the Parties agree to put in place arrangements that reflect this, in order to respond to evolving threats, disrupt terrorism and serious criminality, facilitate investigations and prosecutions, and ensure the security of the public. 86. The Parties should establish reciprocal arrangements for timely, effective and efficient exchanges of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data and the results of processing such data stored in respective national PNR processing systems, and of DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration data.

Operational cooperation between law enforcement authorities and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The Parties recognise the value in facilitating operational cooperation between the United Kingdom’s and Member States’ law enforcement and judicial authorities, and will therefore work together to identify the terms for the United Kingdom’s cooperation via Europol and Eurojust. The Parties should establish effective arrangements based on streamlined procedures and time limits enabling the United Kingdom and Member States to surrender suspected and convicted persons efficiently and expeditiously, with the possibilities to waive the requirement of double criminality, and to determine the applicability of these arrangements to own nationals and for political offences.

Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing. The Parties agree to support international efforts to prevent and fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, particularly through compliance with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards and associated cooperation. The Parties agree to go beyond the FATF standards with regard to beneficial ownership transparency and ending the anonymity associated with the use of virtual currencies, including through obliging virtual currency exchanges and custodian wallet providers to apply customer due diligence controls.