After most wanted man in Poland's hides in island, police chief says we have no powers on EU warrants

By Adrian Darbyshire in Crime

Extending European arrest warrants to cover the Isle of Man would probably create more problems than it solved, according to the island’s Chief Constable.

Gary Roberts has set out the position on the extradition of foreign criminals following the case of wanted Polish rapist Marian Dorobek.

Dorobek, who had been on the run since November after being sentenced to 10 years for multiple sex offences, was arrested by Lancashire police officers on February 1 after arriving by Steam Packet ferry at Heysham.

It emerged that he could not be arrested in the island as the European arrest warrant issued in Poland could not be executed here.

Mr Roberts told the Examiner: ’European arrest warrants generally only apply in EU countries that are party to the relevant treaty. Some European treaties have been extended to the Isle of Man by agreement, but this isn’t one.

’The island isn’t party either to the Europol treaty, which deals amongst other things with the exchange of intelligence between European Union states.

’Generally speaking, we have had few problems because of this and, in fact, the requirements brought by being party to the treaties would probably cause more issues than they would solve.’

He said the Manx force is able to access European intelligence via Interpol or through the UK authorities.

Aside from the European arrest warrant system, there are long established extradition procedures in place, explained the Chief Constable.

Countries can have bi or multi-lateral treaties with other states to allow for execution of arrest warrants.

These warrants are different and generally involve two tests: is the alleged offence an offence in the country which is being asked to execute the warrant and is the country executing it satisfied that the person will get a fair trial? These tests mean that, for example, the UK would not send someone back to their homeland to face a religious charge.

’The Isle of Man does not make extradition treaties and it has no powers to act outside the oversight of the UK,’ he said.

Mr Roberts said: ’If someone is found here for whom an extradition warrant is in place, our officers would arrest the person and officers from the Met’s extradition unit would travel to the island and take them back to London, where a district judge would deal with the formalities of the extradition request.

’Alternatively, we could seek the extradition of a suspect from abroad. We have extradited suspects from the Republic of Ireland, for example.’

But he continued: ’Where a European warrant is in existence and where the suspect is in the Isle of Man, we have no powers at all.

’If the suspect is willing to go to the UK, as was recently the case, then that ends the matter as the UK authorities can act. We even gave them four to five hours’ notice, not momentary notice, as one of our UK colleagues seems to have suggested!

’If they are not willing to leave, then the state seeking them will have to obtain an extradition warrant. This takes time and the warrant will have to go through various judicial processes in the requesting state and in the UK, before it eventually becomes fit for execution here. Days, perhaps weeks, would likely elapse.’

The other option is if someone wanted on a European arrest warrant were to be arrested here for an imprisonable offence.

Mr Roberts said: ’If there was evidence to charge, then we could get them convicted here and then excluded. This would allow us to force them off the island and into the UK or Ireland, where they could be dealt with and repatriated.’

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Debbie · 183 days ago · Report

Why in this day and age do we not have EU warrant powers?? We pay our taxes, have our own Government; currency; laws; Police; security at the airport (why not at the SeaTerminal??) This is why a 'major paedophile' gained access to the IOM. If we had warrant powers in place we could have arrested on sight.

Fell · 183 days ago · Report

He must have come here through the UK or Ireland. They both have stand-alone non-Schengen 'Border Security' and ID checking. Not very confidence building if he wasn't identified by them and their system on entry. And certainly just showing a passport at the Sea Terminal will not pick up criminals or terror suspects without access to a database - and hopefully one more effective than the UK or Irish one!

Manx born (formerl CV) · 183 days ago · Report

Jolife, there is no such device that will scan every type of ID. Even passports are only linked to a terrorist watch list and not to every criminal record data base in the world. They are not scanned for internal flights when airlines will accept any photo ID including driving licences.

me · 183 days ago · Report

Problem with all the talk of scanning ID at airport & boat are: a) cost, time and inconvenience, b) not everyone has photo ID, c) criminals don't use their real ID - they're criminals, they break the law, getting a *fake* ID is pretty trivial, and they're not going to be bothered with the palaver to get a real ID. If ID is to be mandatory, who's going to pay for *everyone* to have photo ID? Oh, yes, another tax on leaving the island then?

Back again · 183 days ago · Report

Sorry! I don't mean to be horrible. I actually love the new website! I'm just upset that my comments were deleted yesterday.

Jolife · 183 days ago · Report noted, the scanner is at Liverpool, Heysham etc. The control prevents the blighters from getting here. Who pays? The UK Government has the scanners at every airport now.....add a couple at every ferry port, link them up and off we go. If one bleeps a warning, the passenger does not get on the boat. If they are a criminal, it is a UK problem (they are standing at a check-in at Liverpool port for example) and not ours, so a UK cost to send the police to arrest etc.

Conch · 183 days ago · Report

if you want a safe island then you have to put up with the inconvenience. Would you object @cv if you were searched in a shop when accused of shopliftint??? No you'd have to go with it, its security

Conch · 183 days ago · Report

you wouldn't travel through Gatwick without being searched and having your picture taken, its needed, you have your picture taken and put around your neck when visit the houses of parliament you are searched. What makes the iom so different. stop moaning and take action, this man was dangerous. enough said.

Manx born (formerl CV) · 183 days ago · Report

Simple? Really jolife? Have you considered who might fund and operate such a system. And if such a system had been in operation when this Polish man had arrived,then what? As Mr Roberts stated he could not have been arrested. What then, follow him around for 24 hours a day until he decided to depart?

Conch · 183 days ago · Report

well said @Spook

Conch · 183 days ago · Report

This is what happens when the Island goes it alone and they say they want independence! We don't have enough powers or legislation. There was another case similar to this when somebody was on a work permit and was a registered offender and they got the permit I remember and it was later discovered. This isn't good enough they are full of excuses as to what they can't do and why they can't. We must have harboured many undesirables unknowingly

Jolife · 183 days ago · Report

Simple. ID required for all plane and boat transport to and from the Island. Nothing to hide...then you won't mind. ID is scanned and checked against relevant databases. Don't let the criminals in ! It is called a preventative control.

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