Ipswich: Renewed calls for European database after burglar had convictions in Lithuania

Matvydas Kristaponis Matvydas Kristaponis

Thursday, February 13, 2014
11:49 AM

A burglar whose suspended sentence was branded as “excessively lenient” by Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner had a criminal record in his homeland, it has emerged.

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Mantvydas Kristaponis, of Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, is understood to have convictions for theft and public order offences in Lithuania.

His case once again raises the issue of people with criminal records coming into the UK from EU countries unchecked.

East Anglian MEP Vicky Ford has been at the forefront of a campaign to combat cross-border crime and put a system in place that can be used across Europe.

After hearing about the latest case in which Kristaponis burgled a house in Crowfield, near Stowmarket, stealing items including a diamond ring and two necklaces last July, Mrs Ford said tracking-system was essential.

She added: “We need a database. Furthermore we need to make sure countries upload their information on that database. We have got a system where it’s going to make it easier for the UK law enforcement authorities to access the information, but we need to have countries putting that information on the database.”

After Kristaponis was spared jail at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday, Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore said: “I would like people to think about what message this sends to the victims and also what type of deterrent this has to potential offenders.

“The constabulary spends a lot of time and effort bringing these people to justice. What sort of message does that send to the constabulary and what sort of effect on morale when this happens?”

Kristaponis, 24, had admitted burglary and was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence, three-month curfew order and put under supervision for six months

He was caught after cutting himself when he broke into the Crowfield house through a kitchen window.

A witness saw a distinctive yellow car with flowers on it and a Lithuanian number plate. Although the vehicle’s owners were cleared of any involvement, police checked with the Lithuanian police and Interpol and discovered Kristaponis was in his country’s DNA database.

In November last year Mrs Ford hosted a one-day conference at UCS in Ipswich with the town’s MP Ben Gummer, PCCs from across East Anglia, senior police officers, Home Office staff, and representatives from Interpol.

A major element was looking at ways of tracking criminals across Europe and to ensure there was prompt action at borders to keep undesirables out.

New systems to check on the status of people arriving in the country were due to be introduced this year, and new checks on those leaving the country should come in during 2015.

3 comments

  • Well this article is a bit of an eye opener for us plebs. I was under the impression that people were checked for criminal convictions and East Anglian MEP Vicky Ford is saying we need a database. So the border agency are letting people into this country not knowing if they are criminals or not, you could not make it up. Actually if you read further a check with Interpol or Lithuanian authoritys would have highlighted the fact he was a known criminal so why didn't the Border agency check. Too busy meeting targets to check or just incompetent it looks like the Border agency is still not fit for purpose.

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    royg

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • Forgive me if I'm wrong but wasn't the recorder at the trail stated as saying, "that although the offence crossed the custody threshold he felt able to suspend the period of imprisonment in view of his guilty plea and lack of previous convcitions." What planet is that guy on, or does the fact that you are a criminal in another country not count here. Kristaponis should not have been allowed into the country in the first place but certainly deported now. We have enough criminals of our own without importing more !

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    Renegade

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • Waspie's wife. What message does it send! Sheer incompetence and failure to give Suffolk people and in this case women, the protection they deserve. If there aren't enough prisons build more. Then deport, and we can pray they don't sneak back through our sieve like border controls.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

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