Suffolk police chief backs Brexit as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove set to arrive in Ipswich
- Credit: PA
Brexit campaign chiefs Boris Johnson and Michael Gove will roll into the region today to join Suffolk's crime commissioner in making a call for Britain to leave the European Union.
The senior Conservatives leading Vote Leave will bring their campaign into Ipswich today when they meet police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore.
Mr Passmore said high profile Suffolk cases, including the murder of Bury St Edmunds jeweller Peter Avis by a polish robber on the run and the rape of an 81-year-old by a Romanian who had been twice jailed in his home country, had been a 'tipping point' and had convinced him to Vote Leave to regain control of Britain's borders.
But a spokeswoman for the 'Conservatives In' campaign said that Prime Minister David Cameron's renegotiation with European leaders had strengthened our ability to deport foreign criminals and it was now clear that the UK could take into account the full background of a criminal in a decision over whether to deport.
She also said that being in the EU meant we had access to the European Arrest Warrant, which had allowed us to deport 6,500 European criminals since 2010.
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And former Suffolk police chief Sir Paul Scott-Lee warned over the weekend that quitting the European Union will make Britain less safe and urged voters not to 'gamble with our security'.
Sir Paul insisted leaving the bloc would put the country at a disadvantage in the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
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Mr Passmore, who said he did not want to fall out with anybody over his position and that his decision was a personal view, said his position was not xenophobic or anti-European.
'We have examples here in Suffolk over the last few years where people with criminal records have been able to move in and out of the UK. Of course, if there is a search warrant out for them, then of course we all cooperate and we have to be realistic. But we have had examples in Suffolk over the last years since I have been elected where this has gone wrong.
As well as the Bury St Edmunds and Felixstowe cases he also cited the operation to smuggle six Ukrainians into the UK via Orford quay.
'Whilst the police are not responsible for dealing with the borders per say, what concerns me is looking at the public interest and the knock on consequences for policing in Suffolk when the problem reaches our borders.
'We have 31 ports and marinas in Suffolk. It is a huge part of our economy and I do think we are wide open.'
He said he had been calling for reform for some time.
'We are not trying to keep people out unnecessarily. We have a proud history of letting people in. We have the French Huguenots, the Jewish community during the last world war. We welcome refugees from Syria. We should always do our part as a humane country that welcomes people in their hour of need, but that does need proper control.'