Since 2012 the DCAF Border Security Programme has facilitated the development and implementation of several regional cross-border operational police measures (Training and practical exercise in common operational measures), aimed at the addressing security threats posed to the Western Balkan borders. The operations provide the proper setting for conducting problem-oriented training via practical engagement of relevant law enforcement services, such as the border police and customs, involved in combating various forms of cross-border criminality and primarily in border area in one or more of the beneficiary countries of the DCAF Border Security Programme.
The activities specifically aimed to achieve the following:
- Strengthening of operational capacities and capabilities of respective law enforcement units to conduct cross-border investigations and prosecutions on serious and organised crime, especially with regards to irregular migration (illegal crossings of state border, its facilitation, migrant smuggling…).
- Improving the capacities for the readmission, with emphasis on the simplified readmission procedure for persons apprehended in a border area.
- Improvement of effectiveness of respective law enforcement units on investigations and prosecution through more effective cooperation with relevant European and regional authorities, especially EUROPOL.
- Improvement of skills and knowledge on specific topics arising on short-notice from practical cooperation and joint investigations.
As the training takes form of “learning by doing”, by engagement of police officers in real operational activities, it has in the past produced significant results (including detected stolen vehicles, migrant smuggling, trafficking of illicit drugs, etc.) and received significant national and international attention. In line with the mandate given by the Ministers of Interior and Border Police Chiefs, it is undoubtedly proven that the Border Security Programme contributes to the successful development of practical co-operation in the region. The established practice of analysing and planning further activities based on lessons learned in the framework of common and coordinated measures will continue also in the future. Not focusing merely on the operational results, the common operations contribute to the common success in the area of cross-border crime prevention, fight against organized crime and irregular migration, both in a preventive and repressive sense.