Ensuring suspected sex offenders are swiftly brought to justice is one of the aims of a new extradition treaty, between the United Kingdom and the Philippines.
The Philippines has been known as a destination for suspected British sex offenders. A number of those accused of such serious crimes are believed to have fled there from the United Kingdom.
Once ratified this new treaty will help bring suspected sex offenders, and others suspected of committing such serious crimes, to justice. It will help ensure that victims of such offenses see that justice is being done.
Home Office Minister Lord West said:
“The government is committed to bringing suspected serious criminals to justice. Crime respects no borders in our increasingly globalized world and extradition treaties help ensure that those alleged to have committed the most serious offenses face criminal proceedings.
“Police are aware that the Philippines is a destination for alleged sex offenders. The crimes they commit should not go unpunished simply because they have crossed a border. It is vital that our law enforcement agencies have effective tools to bring suspected offenders to justice as quickly as possible. Today marks a vital step in making that happen.”
The treaty will be formally signed later today by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Alberto Romulo, the Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary, who is currently in the UK as part of a state visit.
Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), said:
“As a result of its activities to understand how sex offenders travel to abuse children, and in conjunction with its counterparts in the Philippines, CEOP laid the groundwork for establishing these treaties. What we can say therefore is that the world where offenders can hide is getting ever smaller. Effective police collaboration, backed by the kind of developments we see today, can only be good for protecting children and bad news for those who think they can travel to avoid detection.”
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:
“The treaties will further strengthen our good relations with the Philippines and help ensure that those who have committed or are accused of serious crimes will face justice in the courts. Improved judicial co-operation will therefore deliver significant benefits to both countries.”
The UK and the Philippines will also sign a treaty of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. This will ensure if evidence required for the investigation or trial of an alleged offense in the UK is located in the Philippines, that the UK will be able to obtain this evidence in an admissible form in the quickest manner possible.
Source: Home Office