Police Federation calls for cross border ‘hot pursuit’ policy

July 6, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

The body representing police officers says the time is right to allow PSNI and Garda officers to cross the border in pursuit of criminals.

The Police Federation chairman Terry Spence says that if police are to effectively fight crime gangs then a ‘hot pursuit policy’, similar to that used in other European countries, needs to be developed.

He says the incident in Meigh last week, in which two police officers were injured, reiterates the need for such a policy.

Referring to the Meigh raid, Mr Spence said: “Whether that pursuit could have applied in this case or not, I am not sure. But it is very clear, when you consider the incident in Meigh, when officers could see where the van made off, there was the potential for police to pursue if that had been possible.”

Countries across Europe are signed up to the Schengen Agreement, which allows officers to cross borders in hot pursuit of criminals.   The UK and Ireland are the only member states not signed up to the agreement.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott has a close working relationship with the Garda Commissioner and has been looking at ways to increase cross-border co-operation.

It is understood that he would also be keen for the introduction of a model that would permit hot pursuit across the border.