Thursday, July 17, 2008

French Lesson

Apart from a few notorious hotspots, the sort that occur in any major city worldwide, France is a peaceful and well ordered country.
Crime is the exception rather than the rule which is why it is currently so attractive to British expatriates.
And yet, unlike the UK which is, as Shakespeare pointed out, surrounded by a moat which should keep the bad people out, France has a long and scarcely patrolled border with the rest of Europe.
The reason for this disparity has now been revealed in a damning report.
It seems that UK police make just 20 requests to Interpol each day for details about non-EU criminals, compared with more than 20,000 a day by the French.
Only seven requests a day were made by forces looking for conviction information about a foreigner.
An 11,000-strong list of terror suspects, held by Interpol, was hardly used, while the UK Border Agency did not have a link to Interpol's lost and stolen documents database. France makes over seven million checks a year.
Naturally the Home Secretary, Jacqui ‘U-Turn’ Smith, had a standard government-speak response.
She said: "We will be producing a full response and action plan in the autumn.
We will immediately press ahead with work to improve access to overseas criminal history information to help deport foreign nationals who break our laws."
It might not be a bad idea if she got in touch with the French Minister of Justice, Mme. Rahida Dati, and asked for a few tips on how to manage matters or even how to brush up one’s appearance.
But don’t worry. She’ll have a “full response and action plan” for you by the autumn.
Meanwhile, all you international criminals out there who want to get into the UK, now’s your chance.
You don’t want to be caught by Ms. Smith’s ‘full response and action plan’ do you?


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