The Hague, the Netherlands
On 9 and 10 December, Europol hosted a conference focused on cross-border vehicle crime. The event was organised by the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Chaired by the Luxembourg Criminal Police, the conference saw the participation of police officers from 24 EU Member States and Switzerland, along with experts from Europol and Interpol. The dedicated network of national coordinators in this field is known as CARPOL.
The results of the Joint Police Operation LUXCAR were amongst the most important topics on the event's agenda. LUXCAR is a European-wide operation which targets vehicle crime and focuses on the EU territory and its external borders.
"An effective fight against organised vehicle crime needs common tools, like Operation LUXCAR. Europol is committed to delivering its full support to trans-national criminal investigations into motor vehicle smuggling", said Wil van Gemert, Europol's Deputy Director of Operations.
Another important theme discussed was the trade in stolen vehicle spare parts. CARPOL's recommendations for tackling this increasing problem are:
- intensifying training for police officers, at a national level or via Europol, in order to detect stolen spare parts;
- continuously focusing on public/private partnerships;
- increasing law enforcement agencies' access to the manufacturers' databases;
- setting-up a dedicated task force.