Croatian border police best trained in EU, interior minister says

ZAGREB, 15 April (Hina) – Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović said on Monday that the Croatian border police service is the best trained such service in the European Union.

He was speaking to the press after a presentation on the work of the National Coordination Centre for Border Surveillance.

Božinović said that new equipment, worth €250,000, had been purchased with European funds, including cameras and stationary and mobile radars.

“Thanks to the technical equipment and analytics service, the police can predict where to expect the arrival of larger groups of migrants. This is why Croatia is the most successful in protecting the external border of the European Union, not only in stopping illegal migrants from crossing the border, but also their helpers, namely smugglers,” the minister said.

“This year, we have arrested about 700 smugglers, while illegal border crossings have declined by 32 per cent from last year,” he added.

Božinović announced that a new “entry-exit” system would be put in place across the Schengen area in October this year, including fingerprint checks and facial recognition for all third-country nationals arriving in the European Union, in order to monitor their movements.

Croatia is the first EU member state to receive a certificate confirming that it is ready to apply this system. “We have equipped the border crossing points, and when we will start using this system depends on when other countries will be able to do what we have done,” said Božinović.