Cross-border crime is a fast growing global problem. The European Union is no stranger to this ever expanding phenomenon. More and more of the crimes committed today are trans-national and in order to combat this trend there is a need for better trained and prepared undercover operations and operators.
From 15 – 18 June 2010, the United Kingdom’s National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) International Academy hosted CEPOL course “Undercover Operations”. Co-organised with the Italian CEPOL team, the course attracted a total of 32 participants and experts from 18 Member States.
Much appreciated by the participants was being able to use the “Hydra” Immersive Learning suite, which allowed them to take part in simulations of real time undercover operations, based on real incidents. The participants underwent operational decision making exercises followed by a review of the actions taken during the simulation.
Alessandra Ortenzi, vice questore of the Italian National police, delivered a session on the fundamentals of undercover operations in which she illustrated the methods used by the Italian police forces whilst performing undercover operations.
An analysis of the three days work performed at the end of the course highlighted the legal differences which govern Member States undercover operations and thus provided an opportunity to look at ways of possible future cooperation.
One participant commented, 'Having had the possibility to learn all I can about best practices in EU countries and having gained a broadened view of the overall purpose of these operations has opened my mind and enlarged my knowledge.'