Listen as Diane's responds to those who say Britain is safer by following the European Commission's plan to create an EU version of America's Central Intelligence Agency.
UKIP's Home Affairs and Justice Spokesman Diane James says UKIP's PCC candidates must promise to restore the faith and trust of the public in UK police forces:
UK residents quite rightly place their trust in the UK police force. It is the most visible and expected “Responsive” point of contact to whom the public turns when it sees, or regretfully experiences, a crime be it anti-social behaviour, burglary, fraud, sexual or other form of personal attack. Taxpayers also rightly expect their police forces to allocate their resources, including finance, to the most pressing needs of communities ensuring that all are protected from crime however it might manifest itself, whilst addressing the new challenges and responsibilities set by the Home Secretary. In many instances community support and involvement in crime resolution is now a pivotal part of the overall policing resource. This is to be actively encouraged but should not become the default position or be undermined by aspects of questionable crime reporting quality, thereby lowering public trust in policing and police force accountability. It is these 3 areas that will become the lynchpin of YOUR elected UKIP Police & Crime Commissioner (‘PCC’) whose 100% commitment to the role will ensure the necessary accountability at all levels of policing, its operational focus and delivery, its management and record on financial performance. Only through these aspects will your UKIP PCC be able to rightly claim the mantle as being the link between the Public and its Police Force.
It is essential a PCC now must “think out of the box” and keep abreast of new technologies and approaches to improve policing. Already trialled helmet and lapel cameras linked by radio to a police operations centre have demonstrated value whilst the use of tablets to record and submit evidence will be continued. New technology has the opportunity to deliver cost savings meaning more money for redeployment at a community level. By way of example the use of drones (as being used in France) is effective and is a fraction of the cost of police helicopters. No PCC can be totally resilient against unwarranted EU influence, to create “harmonization” across European Member States, as long as the UK remains part of the European Union. Proposed changes to uniforms and firearms licensing are on the short-term horizon. However it is beholden on PCCs to be in regular dialogue with the Home Secretary and to ensure that this dialogue works both ways, only then can communities be confident that PCCs are an asset to their social, civic and personal policing needs.
Theresa May's tough policy of hitting airlines in the pocket for flying illegal immigrants into the country is in total disarray following a court ruling. Airlines have shelled out millions in fines since 1999 after failing to spot forged documents before bogus travellers arrive at UK passport control. With each immigrant who makes it through the net costing airlines £2,000, budget carrier, Ryanair, by itself pays out about £400,000-a-year in penalties. When introduced by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, the policy was heralded as a major plank of Britain's bulwark against the tide of illegal immigration. But, in a landmark decision which threatens to undermine the entire regime, a judge has now ruled that it "offends fairly basic concepts of justice and indeed the rule of law. Responding UKIP Home Affairs Spokesman Diane James MEP said:
"Nothing could expose better the absolute dysfunctional position of UK border control. Fining airlines who, in all good faith, transport passengers and which rely on airport based border control and security systems to undertake the entry access systems, just makes no sense whatsoever.
"In the UK we now have landlords, court police, GPs and hospital based personnel all directed by the Home Office under Theresa May's control to act as border control staff, a situation brought about by a nonsensical slashing of the UK Border Force budget by over 20% coupled with a workforce cut of 5000 staff. It looks as though airline staff will soon be locked into that responsibility too - what next airport cleaners!
"The remaining 18,000 UKBA personnel are meant to cover every airport, seaport and UK entry point 24/7 and it is just not happening. 'Outside' of the Schengen agreement was meant to add an element of passport check security but clearly that is not working either and of course the EU would have the UK believe that Frontex will be the saviour for this situation - well clearly it is not. With all the supposed investment across the EU member states to support Frontex - situations like this should not arise
"So much for those Europhiles who put their faith in EU organised systems. With EU passports available for sale at 20 euros one has to wonder why the counterfeiters bother but clearly there is a market and one that can be exploited because of the lack of national border force investment. Every fine heaped on the airlines is passed back onto ticket prices and traveller costs.
"Theresa May needs to 'wake up and smell the coffee' on this situation as does the Easyjet CEO McCall - people want to travel, they need to know that they are 100% safe and secure - EU membership cannot and will not deliver that key requirement and the UK government needs to take on board that reliance on EU member states frontier and entry management is just not working and never will. A nation state should be in charge of its own border control 'No if's and no but's."
Notes to Editors:
A report of the case that is referred to above can be found here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3449846/Ryanair-paid-400-000-year-2-000-time-fines-people-reaching-UK-borders-false-passports.html
10Feb2016 Diane responds to the Government's announcement of new prison reforms including adopting UKIP's manifesto policy at the 2015 General Election to take Britons jailed abroad back into the UK, while at the same time returning foreigners imprisoned here back to their home countries to serve out the remainder of their sentences.
Commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech on prison reform today, Diane James MEP, UKIP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson said:
“When he was Justice Secretary Ken Clarke relaxed sentences and let out prisoners early yet the Prison system is still overwhelmed and creaking at the seams. Unless the Government takes steps to reduce overcrowding David Cameron’s justifiable concerns will be seen as nothing more than crocodile tears.
“On almost every level the Government is failing the Prison service. Staff, particularly at public sector jails, have been consistently cut over the past few years and we are now witnessing the consequences. Suicides are up. Recidivist rates are up. Assaults on staff up. Violence in prisons is up.
“In addition, high immigration levels means we have no idea of the numbers of people coming here, so no way of estimating crime rates to plan resources.
“At the very least we need to be deporting EU and foreign criminals to serve sentences in their home countries but the work of human rights lawyers means that increasingly foreign criminals who come to Britain make a mockery of our Justice system
“Only when Mr Cameron addresses these issues seriously and stops making prisons policy on the hoof, from a collection of sound bites, will it be possible for the Government to construct a penal reform policy that is both effective and efficient.”
Notes to Editors
Diane was commenting on reports of the Prime Minister's here:
The European Commission unveiled new proposals for a new €280 million a year European Border and Coast Guard agency which will supposedly "ensure a strong and shared management of the external borders." Within these proposals there is a "right to intervention" for the EU if it is deemed the member state is failing to protect the bloc's external boundary. UKIP's Justice and Home Affairs Spokesman Diane James MEP commented:
"This is a full frontal attack on national sovereignty from the EU. All pretence has now been discarded and the Commission will now openly act against a member state's wishes and operate within its borders without permission. By acting contrary to the wishes of national parliaments the EU has displayed its desire for a federal state for all to see."
"In its convoluted language the EU has set out how even British and Irish waters will now come under its control and this will rightly cause a national outcry even among those who are undecided in the coming referendum."
Notes to the Editors:
Copy of EU Commission Press Release here
A EUobserver press Article here
The EU dream of a borderless Europe is collapsing as a Paris terror attacks fatally undermine the Schengen Agreement
Responding to calls by the European Commission to establish an EU-wide intelligence agency in the wake of the Paris attacks, UKIP's Justice and Home Affairs spokeswoman, Diane James MEP said:
"Schengen's open border idea allows free movement for terrorists and has resulted in mass murder in Paris.
"For our national security, there must be a return to national border controls and checking of the origin and credentials of those who are crossing borders.
"There is a clear necessity that Islamist terrorists, their ideas, their money and their weapons no longer be given a free pass around Europe because of Schengen. It is a European political dream which is turning into a security nightmare."
Plans announced that call for all police officers to have passed a degree before qualifying as policemen have been queried by UKIP Home Affairs spokesman Diane James MEP. Diane said:
"Though the idea of better qualified policemen and women is laudable, one has to ask for what purpose? Is this an idea to support the further education sector and Universities rather than to actually improve policing?"
"Of course there are thousands in the Force with degrees. But to make a career in the police dependent on a degree seems excessive. After all policing is almost a vocational career and that should not be wholly or otherwise dependent on educational achievement."
"The UK's experience via the introduction of nursing degrees can hardly be cited as a unqualified success story, so we should proceed with caution.
"The more important goal is surely to attract individuals into the police when morale and motivation is at an all time low. Also attract individuals from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds. raising the bar unnecessarily in this way is hardly going to help these situations.
"In particular the timing of this announcement is bizarre - within weeks we should hear of the level of cuts to police forces around the country anything between 20 and 40% is being mooted. Given that background coupled with making it even harder for someone to realise their career goals is hardly the best approach."
Justice and Home Affairs
Diane is UKIP's Justice and Home Affairs Spokesman