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Ministers of the Interior of the Czech Republic and Germany discussed further cooperation in fighting cross-border crime

Today, 14th February 2013, the Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic Jan Kubice met the Minister of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany Hans-Peter Friedrich as well as the Bavarian State Interior Minister Joachim Hermann and the Saxon State Minister of the Interior Markus Ulbig. The meeting was held in Prague as a part of the Hof Dialogue between the Czech Republic and Germany. 

The representatives of both countries discussed further cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime. The main achievement of the conference is an agreement on extending current form of cooperation between the Czech and German police and custom officers by including judical authorities. Therefore not only the detection and investigation but also the prosecution of border crime will now be coordinated. Another important conclusion of the meeting is planned extension of the Hof Dialogue.
"Crime at the border areas has significantly grown, especially the drug related crime. Particularly alarming problems are arising from the production and distribution of methamphetamine. With the minister Friedrich, we decided to invite Poland to fight against this problem together.” explained the Czech minister Jan Kubice and confirmed that the Czech Republic and Germany will even more intensively develop their activities of joint patrols and joint investigation. They will also enhance the quantity and quality of exchanged information. Particular attention was paid to improving the exchange of information on stolen motor vehicles. The Interior Ministers also stressed the importance of free movement of persons within the Schengen area and the fact that all the adopted measures must be conducted in accordance with the Schengen acquis.
"It is clear the problem of cross-border crime can not be solved immediately and once for all. The fight against it has always been one of the priorities of the Ministry of the Interior and the police. I believe that thanks to the activities commenced last year within the Hof Dialogue positive results will begin to show, “added the Czech interior minister.
Among the most important activities within the Hof Dialogue can be included:
  • regular meetings of the Czech, German Federal, Bavarian and Saxon Ministers of the Interior within the Hof Dialogue. The results of the dialogue are, inter alia, establishing of several Czech-German working groups or inviting the Republic of Poland to the Hof Dialogue
  • preparation of a new agreement on the police cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany
  • establishment of a working group Crystal in which police and customs representatives and authorities of both countries implemented a comprehensive set of measures to intensify cooperation and communication
  • joint Czech-German police patrols on both sides of the border
The Czech republic fights cross-border crime also at the national level
Czech Ministry of the Interior considers international activities as an important, but not the only way to fight cross-border crime and therefore it has developed maximum effort at the national level as well.
"For example, two weeks ago, the government approved a proposal of the Ministry of Interior on creation of a working group to combat drug problems in the border region," said Jan Kubice.
The most important activities beyond the Hof Dialogue framework:
  • There has been a massive deployment of the police forces in the problematic areas in the border region, including both uniformed and non-uniformed police officers.
  • Joint investigation teams were set up.
  • Between 13th and 28th November 2012 extensive checks in border marketplaces were carried out within the scope of the regional police headquarters of South Bohemia, Pilsen, Karlovy Vary and Ústí nad Labem regions in cooperation with the territorial units of the General Directorate of Customs, the Czech Trade Inspection, Fire and Rescue Service, Agricultural Economic inspections and trade offices.
  • In response to the increase in drug-related crime in the Czech Republic as well as the increasing availability and purity of drugs the Ministry of the Interior prepared a change of related legislation.
  • The Ministry of the Interior initiated legislative activities aimed at accelerating the process of expulsion of foreigners convicted of drug offenses.
  • On 21st January 2013, the Ministry of the Interior announced special grant program "Prevention of drug-related crime in the border areas in 2013”. Its aim is to prevent engaging in drug-related crime, increase motivation to cooperate with the police in detecting drug abuse and drug related crime.
About the Hof Dialogue
On 13th February 2012, the first meeting of the Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic, the Minister of the Interior of Germany and the state interior ministers of Bavaria and Saxony was held in Hof. Its main topic was the issue of increased cross-border crime related to ​​drugs, particularly crystal methamphetamine distribution.
In order to intensify cooperation in the fight against this type of crime, as well as other forms of serious crime in the Czech-German border regions, the interior ministers agreed to establish a joint expert working group to control other police and customs bodies composed of representatives of the participating departments of the Czech Republic and Germany (Bavaria and Saxony). At the same time, the Ministers agreed that their meeting to evaluate the activities of the working group will take place once a year, within so-called "Hof Dialogue".
Pavel Novák
Head of the Press and PR Department

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