CEPOL ExPro a go-go!

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24 January 2011

With the third ISEC/CEPOL Exchange Programme well underway, Inside CEPOL Secretariat spoke with Göran Janrell, a Detective Superintendent in the Swedish Criminal Unit who spent his exchange period in Lithuania during October 2010.

Göran’s exchange was with the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior within the topic crime prevention. In Sweden Göran is involved in many different areas and projects, mainly crime prevention, violence in society and ‘everyday’ crime. The Lithuanian Ministry of Interior is responsible for Police Department, State Border Guard Service, Financial Crime Investigation Service, Fire Prevention and Rescue Department, Public Security Service and VIP Protection Department, among others.

Göran said: “The whole experience was extremely positive and I would certainly recommend it; not only to police officers in Sweden, but also to police officers throughout Europe. In fact I am in the process of writing about my experience which will be shared with all officers in Sweden. “

He added: “There is no doubt that as police officers we can all become rather set in the way we work and the CEPOL Exchange Programme is the ideal way to see different working methods and approaches first-hand.”

He admitted that although the exchange period schedule was busy, it was definitely worthwhile. “I visited a lot of different areas including the Forensic Centre, Vilnius International Airport, Crime Prevention Centre and the State Border Guards. What struck me in particular was the work that the Lithuanian Police do with young people - an area that is not a priority in Sweden these days. There are ‘police clubs’ and ‘traffic schools’ where young people can not only meet police officers face-to-face, but learn from them too. At the traffic schools, young people learn how to behave in traffic. This forms part of the Swedish education system but I felt that it was more effective when the young people interact with ‘real’ police officers from a young age. In the outer neighbourhoods of Vilnius there are also what are termed as ‘police clubs’. In the satellite police offices, young people are encouraged to visit. With social workers in residence as well as police officers, they can go to meet and talk or to simply use the space if they have problems at home.” This was very much in evidence when Göran met a young girl who explained that she had not been able to do any school work at home for weeks due to family problems but thanks to the ’police club’, she was able to work in a peaceful environment.

Göran added: ”I think many countries would do well to consider this approach when considering crime prevention techniques.”

Another highlight for Göran was the Dog Training Centre in Vilnius for police and border dogs. He said: “It goes to show that you are never too old to learn something new! Amazingly when a crime has been committed but the suspect is not caught, they are able to ‘bottle the criminals smell’ and keep it in the laboratory for up to five years. They can introduce the dogs to a suspected criminal and open a range of bottles for the dogs to identify which crime scene the smell was taken from.”

Göran added: ”I am so grateful to CEPOL for allowing me to take part in the exchange programme. It really was a fabulous experience. In addition, I made some good friends, including with my exchange programme colleague from Malta. I would like to say a big thank you to the Lithuanian colleagues for making me feel so welcome and in particular, to my tutor in Vilnius who was absolutely great!”

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