15.05.2012, 14:00

Hot Pursuit Exercise between BiH - Montenegro

The cross-border hot pursuit exercise between the Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro took place from 7-11 May 2012 in Trebinje, BiH. This exercise, performed under Article 13 PCC SEE was financed by EC TAIEX, and organised by the Federal Ministry of Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of the Interior of Montenegro, the Federal Ministry of Interior of Austria, and supported by the PCC SEE Secretariat.

The theoretical part of the workshop was held on the first day where the Schengen Agreement (Article 41) and the Police Cooperation Convention was introduced and articles, applicable for hot pursuit were discussed in detail. The selected police officers from BiH and Montenegro were familiarised with the legal basis of the cross-border hot pursuit (namely Article 3, Article 4, Article 11 and Article 13 of the PCC SEE) and procedures that apply for such pursuits. Good practices of the Schengen standards were also presented, together with comparison of national Implementation agreement from Austria, Germany and Slovenia, and examples of good practice of communication between National Central Units in cases of hot pursuit in the EU.

The second day was aimed at the practical exercises where the participating police officers had to, based on the scenario prepared by the PCC SEE Secretariat, pursue suspects of armed Bank robbery across the national border. In the first exercise the suspects were chased from BiH to Montenegro, pursued by the BiH Police. The vehicle was finally stopped in Montenegro after the coordinated action between the two countries and a road-block set up by the Montenegrin police. The real-doing exercise, the same scenario and process was reversed in the afternoon from Montenegro (Bank robbery in Montenegro – hot pursuit of two suspects from Montenegro on the territory of BiH etc.). During the pursuits all proper procedures had to be followed together with the correct communication/notification protocol.

This was the first time that the police officers from BiH pursued suspects across border and exercised police authority in Montenegro and also the first time that the police officers from Montenegro pursued suspects and exercised police authority in BiH.

The workshop concluded with an evaluation of the exercises on the last day. The workshop proved to be very successful with no apparent shortcomings, and with both countries affirming a very positive attitude towards future cross-border cooperation and possible real-life cross-border hot pursuits.

The aim of this exercise, being to familiarise the selected police officers from BiH and Montenegro with the legal framework and best practices connected to the hot pursuit and cross-border cooperation, procedures applicable to hot pursuit, and introduction of the cross-border hot pursuit as a legitimate form of police procedure, was successfully met.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Thomas Pepper at thomas.pepper@bmi.gv.at.