18.04.2011, 09:04

Cross-border Surveillance Exercise between Bulgaria - Macedonia


The first Cross-border surveillance exercise between Bulgaria and Macedonia was organized by the Ministry of Interior Macedonia together with the Ministry of Interior of Bulgaria and Federal Ministry of Interior of Austria and European Commission, supported by the PCC SEE Secretariat in Kyustendil, Bulgaria, from 11 - 15 April 2011.

On the first day Mr. Thomas Pepper and Mr. Klaus MITS from the Federal Ministry of the Interior introduced the objectives, content and working methods of the Cross-border Surveillance Exercise (incl. Controlled Delivery). He presented surveillance as a special investigation method, as well as legal aspects of the Cross-border Surveillance and Controlled Delivery. PCC SEE Manual was introduced, uniformed documentation method and the Tracking systems were depicted. The participants become acquainted with the legal basis of the cross-border surveillance (i.e. Articles 11, 14, 15, 22 and 23 of the PCC SEE). The emphasis was put on the explication of difference between Normal or Ordinary surveillance and Urgent or Emergency surveillance and Controlled Delivery (conditions when the surveillance must be interrupted, the role of the National central Unit). The surveillance officers learned about the practical regulations to carry out the surveillance (before and after crossing the border, when the surveillance is over, documentation etc.).

The second day of the Exercise was aimed at the practical Exercise, i.e. Normal or ordinary Surveillance (OS). Firstly, briefing for the police officers conducting the surveillance was conducted. The team leaders practiced the preparation of the documents needed when crossing the border in the case of OS (obtaining authorisation pursuant to a request for assistance). The police officers conducted the surveillance of target persons, who crossed the border from Kyustendil, Bulgaria to Kumanovo, Macedonia . The Bulgarian officers continued the surveillance of the target persons on the territory of Bulgaria, handed over the surveillance on the territory of Macedonia to the Macedonian surveillance. On the territory of Macedonia the Bulgarian and Macedonian surveillance unit formed mixed teams (!). From Kyustendil, Bulgaria to Kumanovo, Macedonia the target person was under permanent surveillance of the Bulgarian and Macedonian surveillance team. Police officers had to identify the target and contact persons and prepare documentation. At the end of the Exercise they prepared a police report which can be used at the Courts Office of the Prosecution in Bulgaria, Macedonia and as well as in the EU Member states and third countries.

Objective of the practical Exercise on the third day was to practice the Urgent or Emergency surveillance (ES), which allowed surveillance to be continued in the territory of Macedonia without prior authorisation.

The fourth day of the Exercise was aimed at evaluating the outcomes of the exercise. The police officers, the Prosecutor, Heads of National Central Units and Experts from Austria presented their views and described the problems encountered during the Exercise.

It was the first time Bulgarian Police Officers entered the territory of Macedonia continuing police performance and executing police measures.

The exercise organized by the involved states together with the MoI Austria supported by the PCC SEE Secretariat had the aim to train legal and tactical aspects in the field of cross-border surveillance and controlled delivery, advance and intensify the cooperation between countries in SEE, increase the knowledge of police practitioners and understanding of cross-border surveillance, encourage these practitioners to make use of this method, intensify police cooperation in the field of cross-border cooperation. This result has been achieved.