Hundreds of children could be put at risk of trafficking and abuse if the UK Government opts out of EU crime fighting measures, it emerged today (Wednesday, June 12).
Catherine Bearder, an MEP for the South East, has backed Justice Against Borders campaign which is opposed to UK plans to dump 130 EU police and criminal justice measures.
Children's charity ECPAT UK has said at least 500 children could be at risk of serious abuse and trafficking if the opt-out goes ahead.
Catherine said: "It is scandalous how the Tories seem happy to put politics before the nation's security. Police across the UK have worked with forces around Europe to capture and bring to justice murderers, rapists and paedophiles.
"But, instead of working to improve the relationship, the Conservative Party - typically - wants to sever the vital link completely. It is idiotic."
MPs were today (Wednesday, June 12) also set to debate the possible opt-out in the House of Commons.
In January last year, a 27-year-old man was jailed for 12 years for a string of child sex offences in Oxfordshire thanks to EU crime fighting measures.
Timothy Edmonds filmed himself abusing his victim and shared the images with other perverts who uploaded them to the web.
They were picked up by police in Denmark, who contacted officers from the British Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
Using the location data embedded in the photo to narrow down their search to one road in Witney, they then alerted officers from Thames Valley Police.
Catherine added: "This is one example which shows how effective the measures have been. Lib Dems have consistently been fighting hard to ensure we keep these measures, catch criminals and keep the public safe."
Link to Timothy Edmonds story: http://www.ceop.police.uk/Media-Centre/Press-releases/2012/27-year-old-UK-man-sentenced-after-International-collaboration/