HC Deb 30 June 1997 vol 297 c12W
Mr. Fearn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the success of Europol in(a) detecting and (b) preventing the illegal movement and trade of nuclear materials. [5957]

Mr. Michael

The mandate of the Europol Drugs Unit to assist member states in tackling serious trans-national crime was extended to cover illicit trafficking in radioactive and nuclear substances in March 1995. Since then, the Unit has received only a small number of requests from member states for assistance in this area. The Unit has also undertaken strategic work on the threat to the European Union from this form of crime.

The assistance which the Unit will be able to offer member states will be augmented on entry into force of the Europol Convention. A key change will be Europol's ability to pool and analyse intelligence in central databases.