16.04.2012, 10:38

Hot Pursuit Exercise between Bulgaria - Romania

The first cross-border hot pursuit exercise between the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania took place from 10-12 April 2012, in Ruse, Bulgaria. This exercise, performed under Article 13 PCC SEE was organised by the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Ministry of Administration and Interior of Romania, supported by the PCC SEE Secretariat.

The theoretical part of the workshop was held on the first day where the Schengen Agreement (Article 41) and the Police Cooperation Convention was introduced and articles, applicable for hot pursuit were discussedin detail. The selected police officers from Bulgaria and Romania were familiarised with the legal basis of the cross-border hot pursuit (namely Article 3, Article 4, Article 11 and Article 13 of the PCC SEE) and procedures that apply for such pursuits. Good practices of the Schengen standards were also presented, together with comparison of national Implementation agreement from Austria, Germany and Slovenia, and examples of good practice of communication between National Central Units in cases of hot pursuit in the EU.

The second day was aimed at the practical exercises where the participating police officers had to, based on the scenario prepared by the PCC SEE Secretariat, pursue suspects of armed Bank robbery across the national border. In the first exercise the suspects were chased from Bulgaria to Romania, pursued by the Bulgarian police. The vehicle was finally stopped in Romania after the coordinated action between the two countries and a road-block set up by the Romanian police. The real-doing exercise, the same scenario and process was reversed in the afternoon from Romania (Bank robbery in Romania – hot pursuit of two suspects from Romania on the territory of Bulgaria etc.). During the pursuits all proper procedures had to be followed together with the correct communication/notification protocol.

This was the first time that the police officers from Romania pursued suspects across border and exercised police authority in Bulgaria and also the first time that the police officers from Bulgaria pursued suspects and exercised police authority in Romania.

The workshop concluded with an evaluation of the exercises on the last day. The workshop proved to be very successful with no apparent shortcomings, and with both countries affirming a very positive attitude towards future cross-border cooperation and possible real-life cross-border hot pursuits.

The aim of this exercise, being to familiarise the selected police officers from Bulgaria and Romania with the legal framework and best practices connected to the hot pursuit and cross-border cooperation, procedures applicable to hot pursuit, and introduction of the cross-border hot pursuit as a legitimate form of police procedure, was successfully met.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Thomas Pepper at thomas.pepper@bmi.gv.at.

To see more pictures please visit the section 'Gallery'.