Alyn Smith MEP, member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, has welcomed the introduction of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the UK, a key tool in enabling national authorities to cooperate to fight terrorism and serious organised crime.
The system gives the authorities the ability to identify missing persons quickly as well as receive instruction on what to do next; most importantly, this data is shared across many countries giving the authorities here much better chance of locating wanted persons or object.
“This is a sensible step, and coming from a UK government that seemed more interested in losing friends and alienating people across the EU it is all the more welcome. It also gives the lie to much of the anti-European rhetoric coming from particularly the Tories, sensible co-operation across borders is in everyone's interest.
"The system, which is now operational in 29 countries including 25 EU Member States and 4 Associated Countries, will ensure we are able to trace, identify and exchange information on wanted or missing persons and objects across Europe.
“As of today we’ll have a system in place designed to support police and judicial cooperation by allowing the authorities to create and consult alerts on missing persons, including children, and on object or persons related to criminal offences.
“UK operates SIS within the context of law enforcement cooperation only as we are not part of the passport free travel Schengen area and therefore will not implement it in the area of external boarder policy.
“The general oversight and evaluation of the system are responsibilities of the European Commission.”