Cressida Dick has said the police will face a “very steep mountain” under a no deal Brexit.
Speaking at the annual Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summit today in London the Met Police Commissioner said “there will be an awful lot of work to do to replicate the current systems” in place if a deal cannot be reached between Britain and the EU before the October deadline.
Significant investment would be required to replicate things such as the European Arrest Warrant, for example, which if replaced by extradition would be slower, more expensive and more difficult to carry out.
Cressida said preparations are being undertaken by the Met Police as the uncertainty continues, saying:
“We need to maintain a sense among our citizens, and our visitors, that this a place where people know what they’re doing and they’re getting on with the job; that they’re present, they’re out there supporting and protecting people.”
“We are working very closely with the Government and our colleagues in other European States to make sure whatever the framework afterwards; we can make the most of it.”
The Met Commissioner also discussed President Trump’s visit to London today, warning protestors that the Met Police was ready to act:
“We take our role really seriously – on the one hand to keep everyone safe; the visiting head of state, and their entourage, and everyone connected with it, of course our own Royal Family. On the other hand, in a liberal democracy like ours, [we have to] to ensure that if people wish to protest lawfully they can do so without crime and do so safely.
We always put an enormous amount of preparation into every head of state visit and we work really closely with our counterparts from the United States.”
She refuted claims that more than 10,000 police officers have been called in to protect Trump during the visit to the UK, saying: “That’s completely wrong. That’s miles above what we will be having. And this particular visit in terms of the number of protests and the complexity of the protests – at least as they have been made known to us – is very much less than last year’s. So I think that the stretch on us… is less than last time the President of the United States visited us.”
The Commissioner also talked about the necessity of technology – such as live facial recognition – being utilised to keep the capital safe:
“London is a very safe city, and we need to keep it a very safe city into the future… As we go forward, we need to make the best use of modern technology, but obviously in a way that is acceptable to the wider public. Because we have to balance individual peoples’ security with individual peoples’ feelings about their privacy. And in the data age, that is quite a complicated conversation, but it needs to be had.
“I actually believe that live facial recognition technology, properly overseen, properly thought about, properly circumscribed, is something that our public would probably expect us to be doing.”
She claimed that CCTV is much loved by the public and that “hostile states are adopting technologies very fast… but what there isn’t enough of is public discourse about what is acceptable and what isn’t. It needs to be a political decision, informed by what the public want, not a decision made by a ‘securocrat’… The balance needs to be talked about and there needs to be some leadership around the issue.”