Identifying suspects and criminals is one of the major challenges facing law enforcement officers and investigators. Members of itinerant or mobile criminal groups in particular tend to use multiple identities in an attempt to cover their illegal activities and avoid detection.
Today at Europol, a key tool was introduced that will enable EU law enforcement personnel to effectively spot fake ID documents from genuine ones. First developed by the Bavarian State Criminal Police (BLKA), the German Document Information System (DOCIS) has now been launched in English and Europol is coordinating distribution of the system to all Member State law enforcement authorities.
Member States previously requested that Europol provide a tool for spotting forged documents and a Europol survey showed that such tools already existed. However, almost all of them were developed for law enforcement personnel who were trained and had expert knowledge. This is where DOCIS comes into effect. It is an easy–to–use reference tool, used throughout Germany, to identify fake ID and vehicle documents. However, as the system was only available in German, its potential for international use was limited. Following requests from several Member States, Europol decided to translate DOCIS into its working language, English, and signed a specific cooperation agreement with the Bavarian LKA.
Europol’s Director, Rob Wainwright, and the Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Mr Joachim Herrmann, met today for the official handover of DOCIS. Both are convinced that the system will provide excellent support for law enforcement officers all over the European Union, including police, customs officers, border guards, immigration services and more.
Rob Wainwright said: "We would like to thank the Bavarian Police for sharing this highly sophisticated and effective tool with Europol and its Member States. This spirit of cooperation and very generous gesture is another step towards a more safe and secure Europe, which will be of immediate benefit to law enforcement and ultimately Europe’s citizens".
Minister Joachim Herrmann said: "Cooperation with Europol and Member States’ security authorities is crucial for Bavaria. For me there was therefore no question as to whether we would support our partners again with this Bavarian–developed tool. DOCIS combines innovation with many years of good practice. Developed by highly–qualified Bavarian experts, the system can now – thanks to Europol’s support – contribute to the common European fight against crime and continue to improve the protection of our citizens against crime and terrorism."