International Police Cooperation
International police cooperation is carried out based on governmental and departmental legal acts as well as documents that sanction regional cooperation in the border areas. The international police cooperation is carried out in two major areas. Non-operational activities are aimed at developing methods, forms and legal bases for practical police cooperation, otherwise known as operational cooperation.
Operational cooperation includes primarily the exchange of information through:
- The Schengen Information System (SIS) and the National SIRENE Bureau (for the Schengen States);
- EUROPOL (European Police Office, operating only within the EU, whose task is to improve efficiency and cooperation between the competent authorities of the Member States in preventing and combating international organised crime);
- INTERPOL (an international police organisation operating in 194 countries, assisting law enforcement agencies in the fight against all forms of crime);
- cooperation within the framework of the network of Polish Police Liaison Officers operating in such EU countries as France, Spain, Germany, Norway, Hungary, Great Britain, Italy and in non-EU countries, i.e. Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, as well as cooperation with foreign liaison officers accredited to Poland (from Austria, China, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, USA);
- Direct access to police databases (missing and wanted persons, fingerprint records), DNA profiles, stolen vehicles and documents, etc.).
In the Polish Police, the International Police Cooperation Bureau of the National Police Headquarters is the contact point and the place where all international police information exchange channels converge - ONE STOP SHOP. This unit coordinates and supervises all activities of international cooperation (non-operational, operational and education/training areas).
The forms of cross-border cooperation in the Schengen member states include hot pursuit, cross-border surveillance, joint patrols, including motorised traffic patrols, carried out mainly in the border areas. Border cooperation and the related exchange of information is supplemented by Police and Customs Cooperation Centres, operating on the borders with the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia.
Non-operational cooperation entails drafting EU laws and learning about legal solutions and regulations applicable in other countries. It also involves establishing professional and personal contacts. They increase the mutual trust between cooperating parties, eliminate barriers, prejudices and harmful stereotypes.
Another important factor is that the Polish Police use EU funds both to provide training and to invest in police equipment. With national and EU funds, we provide training for representatives of agencies responsible for public order and security from non-EU countries (e.g. in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
Non-operational cooperation also includes the exchange and training cooperation with other police institutions from EU Member States and through EU agencies and bodies such as the CEPOL - European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training. The latter also includes non-EU countries. The Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) remain our priority in this respect.
Moreover, the international activity of the Polish Police is also reflected in the participation of Polish police forces in foreign peacekeeping missions in countries such as: Afghanistan, Georgia, Kosovo and Liberia.