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Britain seeks deeper links to combat terror, drugs

Posted on Nov 29, 11:16PM | IANS

British Home Secretary Theresa May Thursday called for greater cooperation between India and Britain to tackle terrorism and other common threats like drugs, human trafficking and cyber crime.

Stating that four years after the attacks on Mumbai, the threat from terrorism remained real for both the countries, she said they would continue to work in partnership to tackle it.

"But at the same time, the shared threats that we face continue to evolve. Drugs, human trafficking, cyber crime - all pose a very real threat to our citizens and our economies. And none can be tackled by one nation acting alone," she said while addressing Indian Police Service (IPS) officers at the National Police Academy here.

May said the two countries should deal with common threats not only through closer cooperation between governments and law enforcement, but also by drawing on the expertise of industry and academia.

Paying tributes to the police officers who lost their lives during the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, she said British police learnt the lessons from the tragedy to prepare for a similar attack on British soil.

"And during the Olympics, we built on the Indian lessons of the Commonwealth Games to work with international partners and identify potential threats at an early stage," said May, who is on a three-day visit to India.

Pointing out that the criminal connections between India and the Britain are strong, she said gangs in India have sought to exploit the country's growing pharmaceutical market to traffic drugs to Britain.

"And we know that British criminals have laundered money to India in the hope of putting it beyond the reach of UK law enforcement."

She said they were working towards a memorandum of understanding that will help both the countries to tackle the international threat from CBRN - chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear material.

Referring to the work the National Police Academy doing in partnership with Cambridge University, May stressed the need to develop more such relationships.

The two governments will continue to work together to put in place a framework for joint efforts on crime and security, she added.

Stating that Britain want to deepen their understanding of Indian issues and Indian interests, May said they were creating a cadre of India experts within their diplomatic service.

"We have recently opened a new Deputy High Commission here, in Hyderabad, with another opening shortly in Chandigarh."