Can Europol staff be deployed to other countries to help out? What do they do there?

Our experts can support EU Member States and third parties in the field on their request. We help investigators connect and use information stored in our databases. We can provide expertise and tools which may not be otherwise available.

Forensic examination, for example, is one way we can help investigations. We have forensic labs in our headquarters, but we can also deploy drug labs for forensic analysis to support drug trafficking investigations. We did this 15 times in 2018.

We can also help recover and analyse operational information extracted from digital devices, computers and digitally stored media. Our mobile device extraction kits were used 155 times in 2018. This is complemented by our in-house cyber forensic tools, housed in Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3).

Our experts are also active in migrant smuggling investigations. Experts frequently visit migration hotspots. In 2015 and 2016, Europol counter terrorism experts were deployed to identify movements of suspected terrorists through these hotspots. If you add up all the hours we spent working in these hotspots in 2018, it would be 1 551 working days!

Europol is also asked to support special international events, such as G7 meetings or the UEFA Euro football tournament. These on-the-ground operations are supported by our 24/7 Operational Centre back in The Hague.