On 22-26 September 2014, CEPOL’s framework partner ENSP (École Nationale Supérieure de la Police – Lyon, France) organised the activity 50/2014 "Training for SIRENE Officers (Advanced)" aimed at teaching operators from SIRENE offices around Europe how to identify good practices in the use of alerts for discreet and specific checks on the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II).
SIS II alerts requesting for discreet information reports or checks on people are normally issued to prosecute serious criminal offences or to prevent threats to public or national security, and EU Member States have already used them to great effect. SIS II is often only seen as a tool for managing migration, but this is a narrow view of the system not even supported by legal instruments. In fact, there is only one alert addressing entry refusal to Schengen area, whereas the other alerts focus on public safety, law enforcement and national security.
The seminar looked at legal background and case studies to highlight where the alerts have been successful. Experts from SIRENE, the European Commission and the EU agency eu-LISA, who moderated the course, encouraged EU Member States to identify further cases where better and more consistent use of the alerts could facilitate investigation of crimes and prevention of security threats.
Some comments from participants’ evaluations:
“I found the course extremely useful and I strongly feel that it has increased my understanding of Art. 36, particularly in terms of other EU Member States' rules, regulations and challenges. The content of the course made me think more deeply about SIRENE's role in combatting and preventing crime and also about how we can benefit from each other's experience within the SIRENE community”.
“Networking was very important. I got very useful information which can help me in my daily work. Meeting colleagues from other SIRENE Bureaux was extremely important to handle certain cases in an effective way and to understand their workflows”.