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Volume 940: debated on Wednesday 30 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the EEC Ministers' agreement of May 1977 on co-operation against terrorism, what steps have been taken to set up working groups of technical experts; how many such groups now exist; how often they have met; what is their composition; and if, within the limits of security, he will report on their progress to date.

The groups of technical experts comprise people with specialist knowledge of such matters as forensic science, computers, police communications and equipment. Their composition and structure vary according to the topics under discussion.In answer to a Question by the hon. Member on 16th June I published in the

Official Report the communiqué issued by the Conference of EEC Ministers of the Interior held in London on 31st May, which reported on progress. The groups will report again to a further meeting of Ministers next year.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements have been put in hand to exchange police personnel among the EEC nations which signed last May's agreement on means to combat terrorism and hijacking; and, specifically, what common measures have been instituted to improve the co-operation of European police forces in regard to airport security and the exchange of information about political and ideological extremists operating on an international scale.

The emphasis in these developing contacts has been on establishing close working relationships, including exchanges of visits, at an operational level. On training, a conference took place at the Police College at Bramshill earlier this month of heads of police academies of the Nine on the content and training techniques of command training.With regard to airport security, arrangements for co-operation have been agreed between member States, and there is exchange of information both in respect of prevention and in connection with actual events. A series of visits by aviation security experts to major airports in each of the Nine countries is also taking place.There is also close liaison and frequent exchange of information between those directly concerned at operational level on known and potential terrorist groups and individuals.