Cross-border police cooperation between Poland and Germany began in 1991 with the end of Communism and the reunification of Germany. New rules needed to be established when Poland entered the EU in 2004 and the Schengen Area in 2007. Currently, cross-border police cooperation between Germany and Poland is ruled by a bilateral agreement which aims to facilitate cross-border police and border guard cooperation by overcoming the sharp differences between the counties’ legal systems, administrative structures, and police traditions.
Germany and Poland
In Poland, at national level, the office responsible is the International Police Cooperation Bureau of the National Police Headquarters, based in Warsaw, while on the German side, the police headquarters are located in Potsdam. Cooperation takes place within a framework which is partly multilateral (during criminal investigations) and partly specific to the bilateral relations between the two countries (routine police business).
Among the main achievements of this cooperation, it is important to take into account the creation of two useful resources:
- The “Polish-German centre for cooperation between border services, police forces and customs in Świecko”, a tool created after the cross-border agreements of 2002. At this centre, authorities collaborate on a daily basis on the following issues: exchange of information, support in the coordination of actions in urgent matters, control of road traffic, identity and vehicle controls, control of people under arrest, and assistance in cross-border police force meetings.
- The “Granica” working group, which was established in 2012 to tackle cross-border crime through the optimisation of the use of resources and forces, as well as to increase the safety of border region residents.
One of the main achievements of German-Polish police cooperation is the “BIKE” operation, which was aimed at dismantling online paedophile networks. Between January and March 2015, cooperation between the Interpol office in Wiesbaden and the Polish police headquarters in Warsaw led Polish and German police forces to arrest 38 offenders.