Europe’s police get power of arrest in Britain in squads set up to combat international crime

Last updated at 00:41 04 May 2008

Members of Europol can now form joint, British and French, teams (File picture)

Detectives from Europe will be able to carry out investigations and even make arrests on British soil as part

of specialist squads designed to combat international crime.

Members of the European police force Europol – which includes Britain and France – can now form Joint Investigation Teams using officers from each national force.

They will include officers from the Metropolitan Police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency and will target criminal gangs.

Previously, European police could travel to this country to share intelligence – but could not make arrests.

A spokesman for SOCA said: "This is a new step for Britain. It will help us to combat cross-border crime."

But critics are angry that the decision removes Britain's veto over any future changes to Europol's powers.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "This is the latest shocking failure to stand up for the British national interest in Brussels.

"Responsibility for policing and security must remain in the hands of national governments."

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