The PSNI and the Garda now have a very good relationship. When a suspect is being pursued who tries to seek refuge across the border, they are quick to call their professional counterparts in the other sate. The trouble is, that is not always good enough. In remote country areas where there is no police station or patrol car nearby, the suspect sometimes evades capture.
I know of a few stories that I have picked up through conversation with other lawyers where suspects have evaded capture by crossing the border. I am also aware of cases where the police have illegally crossed the border – giving rise to issues as to the legality of the arrest.
It is in all our interests that criminals are given as little quarter as possible when it comes to their apprehension. That is why I welcome the report in the Belfast Telegraph today that the Police Federation of Northern Ireland are calling for cross-border powers of arrest in cases of hot pursuit. If the Chief Constable of the PSNI is in favour of it, so also should be the UK Government and the new Department of Policing and Justice.