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The visit to Spain was the first trip of the British Secretary of State abroad, highlighting the importance of bilateral relations in policing.

Secretary of State for Security, Francisco Martínez Vázquez, and the Secretary of State for the fight against Human Trafficking and Organized Crime, Karen Bradley, met in Madrid to agree on how the two countries could cooperate more closely in the recovery of assets derived from crime.

The visit to Spain was the first trip of the British Secretary of State abroad, highlighting the importance of bilateral relations in policing. This cooperation between the two countries is shown in the exemplary success of ‘Operation Captura’, a campaign launched in 2006 and carried out jointly by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the British charity Crimestoppers campaign.

As a result of this campaign, 58 of the 76 criminals wanted by the British authorities in Spain have been arrested and brought to justice in the UK. The success of this agreement has led both countries to seek new avenues of cooperation in areas such as asset recovery.

As is well known, criminals hide their assets in third countries to hinder their recovery by the agencies charged with enforcing the law. It is believed that in Spain there are more active British criminals than any other EU Member State.

The two countries have agreed to work together more closely to execute confiscation orders against British criminals once they are taken to court and have been convicted.

Similarly, the two governments have agreed to provide the necessary support to help the recovery of criminal assets located in their territories. As such, British prosecutors in Spain will shortly appoint a new asset recovery specialist, while, for it’s part, Spain has sent a liaison magistrate to the UK.

The Secretaries of State have said that the excellent cooperation between the two countries has, in the past five years, seen the arrests of three quarters of Britons most wanted criminals in Spain. And they have sent a clear message: "There are no hiding places for runaway criminals."

Both countries are committed to reinforcing the fight against serious and organized crime and its harmful effects. The meeting of experts from both countries took place in Madrid on 25 and 26 February and focused on cases of practical cooperation to ensure that the crime is not profitable.

Spain and the UK will extend their cooperation in working together within the European Union to promote the exchange of information on criminal records of sex offenders across borders and to combat sexual exploitation of children, including through the use of the European Information System Criminal (ECRIS).

Spain will also endeavor to pioneer new advances in this field internationally for the next presidency of the G-6.

During her stay in Spain, the British Secretary of State, Karen Bradley also held meetings with the director general of the Civil Guard, Arsenio Fernandez de Mesa, and the director general of police, Ignacio Cosidó.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42795/

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