A campaign to catch the UK’s most wanted criminals hiding abroad, launched by the Crimestoppers Charity, could be seriously undermined if calls by 102 backbench Tory MP’s for Britain to pull out of essential European police co-operation measures are heeded.
Under the new project, ‘Operation Zygos’, Crimestoppers is appealing for information from Cypriots and the ex-pat community on the whereabouts of individuals wanted under UK-issued European Arrest Warrants for serious crimes committed in the UK including rape, child sex assault, drug dealing and serious fraud.
The 102 Tory MP’s have made the calls for the UK Government to withdraw from European police operation measures despite pleas from a group of senior former UK police and security chiefs to David Cameron and Nick Clegg.
Lib Dem European Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson, Sarah Ludford, said that “If Tory Europhobes get their way, this project to catch criminals and bring them to justice across borders is doomed. The security and safety of the British public must come before irrational and dogmatic attempts by Tory europhobes to stop our police from bringing criminals to justice.”
The calls are causing serious tensions in the Conservative Party as their main funder, Lord Ashcroft, is also the Chair of Crimestoppers. Sarah stated that “Lord Ashcroft should spell this out to his own party.”