By John Ensor •
Published: 30 Sep 2023 • 8:35
European Police Chiefs Convention.
How are European police leaders addressing future criminal threats?
This week, senior law enforcement figures from Europe and key partner nations gathered at Europol’s main office to delve into the evolving challenges of policing during the European Police Chiefs Convention (EPCC).
Held on September 26–27, this event, co-organised by Europol and the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU, saw 385 top representatives from 44 nations. They convened to explore the emerging threats and opportunities in our fast-changing world.
Now in its 13th year, the EPCC stands as a primary forum for global police cooperation. It offers a space for senior police officers worldwide to engage in bilateral talks and group discussions.
Additionally, a customary meeting of the Director Generals of Customs Authorities was held to bolster the alliance between law enforcement and customs bodies.
Europol‘s Executive Director Catherine De Bolle opened the EPCC, stating, ‘There are big challenges for law enforcement ahead. We are facing today a world of multiple crises in the midst of which organised crime systemically reinvents itself.
‘The criminal landscape is becoming more sophisticated, more transnational and more complex for investigators. We’re on the brink of what we could call a global crime warming.’
Recent geopolitical shifts, coupled with the rapid digitalisation of society, are reshaping the foundation of law enforcement. ‘For law enforcement agencies, coping with this continuous and swift digital transformation will require a quantum leap if we are to provide for effective future policing,’ Catherine De Bolle remarked.
She further noted the need for law enforcement to evaluate their roles, considering where to outsource and when to opt for private sector solutions.
In the run-up to the EPCC, four online workshops were held with European Police Chiefs. These sessions aimed to amalgamate diverse national insights to form a united response.
Topics included the rise of digital crime, partnerships in policing, challenges of illegal migration in the Schengen zone, and the impact of organised crime on societal stability.
The results of these workshops were showcased at the EPCC. The consensus was clear: the escalating threats of organised crime are alarming. There’s a pressing need to shield citizens from the escalating violence of criminal activities.
The transnational nature of these crimes underscores the importance of robust European and global collaboration. Partnerships with nations linked to crimes affecting the EU are crucial.
Traditional policing methods should be integrated with non-law enforcement collaborations, emphasising the benefits of private sector involvement.
In line with recent EPCCs, Europol highlighted ground-breaking projects in law enforcement with its 2023 Europol Excellence Awards in Innovation.
The Dutch Police, the French Gendarmerie, and the Estonian Police were honoured in categories like ethics, diversity, inclusion, innovative operations, and technical tools.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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