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West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has had his say on the EU Referendum – saying the West Midlands is safer voting to stay in.

Mr Jamieson said staying in the EU is essential in the fight against major crimes such as human trafficking and terrorism.

The UK will go to the polls on June 23.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “The outcome of the EU referendum is the most important decision for the people of the UK will make in 50 years.

“Whatever happens, I will work with West Midlands Police to continue driving down crime and protecting our communities.

“The West Midlands currently gains a lot from its strong links with EU partners, especially on the big issues such as terrorism.

“For example, Europol – the law enforcement agency that covers the whole EU – recently revealed how organised crime gangs are spreading their tentacles far and wide. Gone are the days when criminals would operate in one single area. Today, they are highly-mobile, tech-savvy with no geographic boundaries. Our enforcement needs to be equally mobile and work across national boundaries. Obviously, these gangs would operate on the continent and in Britain with or without our membership but staying in allows us to track, trace and capture them far more easily.

“Also, the lines between organised crime and terrorism are becoming more blurred. Terrorists often finance their attacks via organised criminal activities. To tackle this, the new EU Police and Criminal Justice Authorities Directive is being brought in, allowing for a smoother exchange of information between member states. Authorities will no longer have to apply different sets of data protection rules according to the origin of the information – saving time and money and making the fight against crime more efficient. Criminals cannot hide from justice by moving to another country.

“The Europen Arrest Warrant, meanwhile, means faster and simpler surrender procedures for suspects. Because of the EAW, EU states can no longer refuse to extradite one of their citizens on grounds of nationality. Extradition no longer requires a political decision for a suspect to be handed over.

“Bearing all this in mind, I believe it is vital for the UK to continue to make the most of this joined-up intelligence and action at an EU-level. International crime requires an international response.

“Offences such as cyber crime, human trafficking and terrorism have no regard to borders, therefore swift co-operation across the EU is essential.

“Only continued membership of the EU can secure that international response to crime.”

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