Under the hugely controversial European Arrest Warrant, officers had to chase down 4,100 people accused of committing even very minor crimes last year.
That is 20 times the number of extradition requests made by the British authorities. The next country in the list was Spain, with 1,629.
Under the European Arrest Warrant, police officers had to chase down 4,100 people accused of committing even very minor crimes last year
British police, meanwhile, issued 203 requests, with 71 people being ‘surrendered’.
Campaigners said the figures showed the EAW, which was signed in the aftermath of 9/11 to combat terrorism, was hugely imbalanced.
The warrant is based on justice systems across the EU being equally fair. As a result, the UK authorities do not seek to verify the claims on the warrants.
This is despite huge differences in the way other EU countries view minor offending, and the provision of bail.
The Mail has long highlighted the way the EAW was being deployed in huge numbers by Poland.
Last year, we told how the number of Eastern European fugitives captured in Britain has increased so much that the flights have become a regular fortnightly event at Biggin Hill air base.
The administration cost to the British taxpayer is around £25million a year. The flights have been dubbed ‘con air’.
One recent extradition case before magistrates was against a Polish man who moved to Britain to set up his own decorating business.
Five years ago, on his way to a party in his home town in western Poland, the man shoplifted about 20 Milka bars.
Other cases include a carpenter who fitted wardrobe doors and then removed them when the client refused to pay him, and a person suspected of ‘theft of a dessert’.
The Home Office is reviewing both the arrest warrant and the hugely controversial Extradition Act with the U.S.
The Mail has demanded change in the wake of the attempts to extradite computer hacker Gary McKinnon to America for crimes allegedly committed from his north London bedroom.
Campaigners say he should be placed on trial in the UK. Medical experts say the vulnerable Asperger’s sufferer could take his own life if extradited.