A former police chief has warned that Brexit is a “massive factor” in the ability to exchange security information, as authorities face a “tidal wave of people” willing to put their lives at risk to enter the UK.
Retired superintendent Leroy Logan made the comments after 39 dead bodies were discovered in the back of a refrigerated lorry in Essex this week.
He told talkRADIO's Mike Graham: “It’s not just a policing issue, it’s a wider security issue and of course it has to be in cooperation with the EU.
“Brexit is a massive factor that prevents security exchange of information to continue on the basis we had over the years,” he explained.
Police have begun moving the bodies of eight females and 31 males, all Chinese nationals, from the trailer so that post-mortem examinations can take place in due course.
The 25-year-old driver of the vehicle remains in police custody for questioning, having been arrested on suspicion of murder on Wednesday.
Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said he had the "utmost confidence" in his officers as the force leads its largest-ever murder investigation.
Irish police are conducting follow-up inquiries in relation to the registrations and movements of the refrigerated container and the Irish-owned truck.
Mr Logan said that trying to prevent incidents such as this can be “overwhelming”.
“It’s literally trying to prioritise which sort of vehicles, which sort of containment areas, do you check because the numbers of containers going through this country are phenomenal.”
He added: “We’re seeing a tip of the iceberg – if you start really looking into these issues, like any other sociopolitical issue, you start to see that it’s a massive, massive problem and it has taken decades to develop.
“It’s not an overnight phenomenon.”