CEPOL course 27/2013 “Investigating and Preventing Corruption” organised by Polish National Police Headquarters was held on 22 - 26 July 2013 in The International Specialist Police Training Centre (MCSSP) in Legionowo, near Warsaw (Poland).
The aim of the training was to adapt knowledge of the powers and legal basis of the police forces in fighting against corruption, provide overall view of different legislation in the fight against economic and financial crime and corruption to adjust mutual international cooperation, summarize information on investigative tools and techniques of investigation in the participant Member States, propose the best practices in the fight against corruption and employ tools and compile know how to start effective international cooperation e.g. how to create a Joint Investigation Team. Due to the increase in joint operation between European police forces, international scope of offenders activities and the more and more sophisticated methods of commiting bribery offences aforementioned training gives oportunity to understand differences in Member States legal systems to improve international cooperation to limit and prevent those phenomena.
Thirty participants of law enforcement agencies from 20 Member States took part in the course which was perfect occasion to exchange best practices, share the ideas and the best solutions in many complicated cases concerning corruption. Overall aim of the training to improve participants professional skills in the fight against corruption was reached due to the possiblity of exchanging information during working in small grups within workshop as well as thanks to the experts from different institutions and presentation of varied topics of investigating and preventing bribery.
The first day of the course was dedicated to introductory issues - Lt.col. Sebastian Czerw, Head of Combating Corruption Team at the Polish National Police, indicated the role and responsibilities of anti-corruption units within Polish Police structure.
Lt. Wojciech Pawlak presented to the participants the definition of corruption in Polish legal system as well as methods of operational work and police procedures. He led workshops on real case studies which gave the participants possiblity to discuss their countries legal systems, procedures, the best options and actions to be undertaken in particular situations and know-how to find assistance abroad.
Thereafter Lt. col. Rafał Woźniak, Head of Asset Recovery Department at the Polish National Police, encouraged participants to take the advantage of states asset recovery offices which could be very supportive to establish criminal assets even in different countries.
Furthermore, the representative of the Polish General Prosecutor’s Office, Prosecutor Jacek Bilewicz, considered possible ways and tools to improve the Mutual Legal Assistance between Member States.
The workshop on offences that affect the financial interests of the EU (the so-called “PIF offences”) led by Miguel Jansoon from OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office) and the presentation concerning European Commission's Anti-Fraud policy and the role of the international organization in the fight against corruption were crucial to see perspectives and possibilities of cooperation and to understand future threats to the European community caused by offenders using the most sophisticated methods.
In terms of anti-corruption programmes experts, Dominik Habitzl, Karl Raschbach from the Austrian Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption, and Vita Habjan Barborič from Slovenian Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, presented their ideas on preventing bribery and introduced ongoing prevention projects in the field of national and international cooperation also with partners outside law enforcement agencies.
During the training many important and varied issues were introduced like Joint Investigation Teams, preparation of EU convention against manipulation of sport result and match-fixing prevention, whistleblowers protection and possibilities to preventing corruption among police officers.
Additionally, participants had an occasion to see one of the most modern in Europe shooting-range in the Police Training Centre in Legionowo, to take part in a study visit in County Police HQs in Legionowo where they were acquainted with cases investigated by economic crime and anti-corruption departament, and to enjoy Polish traditional cuisine during the farewell dinner in folk restaurant Klepisko, near Zegrzyńskie Reservoir, where they also admired a heritage park with old farm machines.
The course was organised by the Combating Corruption Team of the Criminal Service Bureau within National Police Headquarters, with a significant support and contribution of the European Commission/European Anti-Fraud Office, the Austrian Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK) and the Slovenian Commission for the Prevention of Corruption.