SIRENE trainers were given the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the Schengen Information System during a three-day training activity (Course 41/2013) organised by CEPOL in March 2013. In total, 33 participants from EU Member States, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein attended the course ‘SIS II technical use for SIRENE trainers’, which took place in Eversley, UK.
The course prepared SIRENE trainers for the launch of the second generation Schengen Information System, due to take place in early April 2013. The course provided SIRENE trainers with the necessary knowledge to train other SIRENE staff and end-users in the use of the upgraded system.
The Schengen Information System is the largest shared database used for maintaining public security, support police and judicial cooperation and managing external border control. Participating states provide entries, called "alerts", on wanted and missing persons, lost and stolen property and entry bans. It is immediately and directly accessible to all police officers at street level and other law enforcement officials and authorities who need the information to carry out their roles in protecting law and order and fighting crime. It covers most of the European Union, together with Norway, Iceland Switzerland and Lichtenstein. The Schengen Information System (SIS I) has been updated and the new second generation of the system – called SIS II – will become operational in early April. SIS II will provide police officers in the Schengen area with an even more sophisticated and technologically advanced tool to help tackle crime. The CEPOL course offered experienced police officers specialized in international police cooperation in-depth training on the new SIS II legal basis, its functionalities, related technical and functional procedures, data amnesty as well as practical skills to work with the new updated system. The trained officers will serve as trainers in their home country and will transfer the acquired knowledge to their colleagues.
CEPOL’s partners in organising the course were the European Commission, the EU Agency for operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA), the Italian Ministry of Interior and the German Federal Criminal Police Office. These partners provided their expertise to create an effective course programme and also provided course trainers.
Aija Kalnaja, CEPOL’s Acting Head of Training Unit said, ‘Travelling without border control checks has become part of our life. While millions of citizens benefit from easier travel, we rely on law enforcement to prevent criminals from exploiting the lack of border controls. This CEPOL course means that more law enforcement officers will know how to use SIS II when it is introduced and will be able to take advantage of the faster and more extensive data exchange, maintaining the security of EU citizens and increasing European law enforcement cooperation.’