Twenty-one participants from 14 Member States - mainly from Criminal Investigation Departments - took part in CEPOL course 41/2009 Police Cooperation and Europol, held on 2-5 November 2009 in Austria.
Europol handles criminal intelligence and is the European Law Enforcement Organisation that aims to improve the effectiveness and cooperation of the competent authorities in the Member States in preventing and combating terrorism, unlawful drug trafficking and other serious forms of international organised crime.
Hosted by the .SIAK (Sicherheitsakademie) of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and supported by the Netherlands and Europol, the aim of the course was to make senior police officers more aware of the services and products Europol offers in order to help fight cross-border crime while at the same time, provide a forum for the exchange of information and experiences.
The two training experts from Europol, Ruud De Heer and Tom Robson, prepared their contributions in order to reach the following learning outcomes which are based on the Europol Common Curricula:
- List which decisions led to the creation of Europol;
- Explain how Europol is organised;
- List which products and services Europol can offer and how they differ from other external partners such as Interpol and Eurojust;
- Describe the role and tasks of the Europol National Units in the Member States;
- Describe the tasks of the Europol Liaison Officers and the way to contact them;
- Describe Europol’s information flow;
- Describe the aspects of Intelligence-led Law Enforcement;
- Explain how Europol’s information systems function;
- List the necessary conditions for opening an Analysis Work File;
- Describe the use of Europol’s secure information systems;
- Explain how data are protected and how to use handling and evaluation codes.
At the end of the training session the participants inter alia worked out a ‘self-evaluation’ composed of ten multiple choice questions. Additionally, the participants were invited by the Course Manager to consider how to use their new knowledge and experience in their workplace by writing down their personal action plan on postcards. The postcards will be sent by the Course Manager to them directly within the next two weeks.
Tom Robson, one of the trainers, said: “We found the course overall a very positive experience. We were struck by how good the participants’ overall knowledge of Europol was already prior to the course. Its value was greatly enhanced by the level of participation in discussions by the students themselves. We hope that we were able to increase their knowledge and that it was an enjoyable experience for them.'