6th May 2014

With the European Union having raised firearms as a priority crime, UK officers are being seconded to the UK Liaison Bureau (UKLB) within Europol to help assist the drive to tackle gun crime and the wider threat from all serious and organised crime.

Chief Officers from the police forces within the North West and West Midlands Regions are joining forces with the National Crime Agency to enhance the intelligence work already taking place across Europe, by seconding two police officers to Europol and boosting the intelligence work taking place across Europe.

The officers will be based at The Hague with the first officer taking up her role from 28th April.

Detective Sergeant Emma Guest of North West ROCU is seconded to the UKLB within Europol until 31 October this year and Detective Sergeant Richard Cook of West Midlands ROCU will work within Europol from 20 October through until 31 March next year. They are representing their policing regions and UK law enforcement as a whole. The secondments are part of a pilot programme to determine the value of having officers from ACPO Regions seconded to Europol.

The project aims to facilitate the exchange of information from UK Law Enforcement relating to firearms, the wider threat of Serious and Organised Crime and the EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats) threat priority areas.

Deputy Chief Constable David Thompson (West Midlands Police) is the ACPO lead for the Criminal Use of Firearms and is sponsoring the project.

He said: "The secondments will provide increased information flows and communications channels to facilitate and increase the exchange of intelligence from ACPO forces into Europol. The intention is to work with law enforcement partners from across the UK and the wider EU to enhance the ability of law enforcement agencies to tackle serious and organised crime.

"The initial focus will be to increase work within North West and West Midlands regional forces, via North West and West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Units, but this will then be extended to other provincial forces via their respective ROCUs.

"The project has a two-fold purpose; to increase joint investigations with EU Member States and ACPO forces, and gain increased support from Europol for UK investigations."

In April this year, the Head of NABIS' Intelligence Team, Ian Head, was asked to Chair the European Firearms Experts (EFE) Committee; a three year dedicated EU Firearms strategy to target illegal firearms trafficking across all EU member states. This is an opportunity for NABIS to influence EU partners to help make the UK a safer place by helping to reduce and remove the threat of gun crime.

NABIS has also received delegations from international partners, including the Kosovan Police who have similar IBIS forensic IT systems to NABIS and who have been keen to understand how NABIS helps tackle gun crime within the UK and the business processes NABIS employs to integrate its IBIS systems within its National Firearms Intelligence Database.

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