The second phase of the NET-COP european project has started with the aim to continue working on the creation of a network between African law enforcement agencies in the fight against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings
After more than two years of work in the first phase of the project, NET-COP II begins with the same objective: to establish a network of contact, work and coordination between the security forces in West Africa that work with the local National Police Investigation Units in the fight against the trafficking and smuggling of irregular migrants.
One of the major achievements of the first phase of the project has been to unify the way of working and to achieve coordination between the countries involved (Senegal, Mauritania, Gambia, Niger, Mali, Ivory Coast and Guinea). In addition, it was considered that the most effective way would be to design a coordination tool where data would not only be stored, but where the data entered by each country could be cross-referenced and coincidences could be detected. In this way, the parties involved would be aware of which different research units might be studying the same people or organisations. In the first phase of the project, it has been installed in Senegal, Gambia and Côte d’Ivoire.
NET-COP II has European funding and will be carried out by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, through the National Police, and the FIIAPP in collaboration with the French Ministry of the Interior and CIVIPOL. The project enables cooperation between European police forces and those of the different countries involved in the project, such as the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. This cooperation and the close collaboration with the National Police deployed on the ground will strengthen the fight against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings.
Although the main objective remains the same, in this second phase work will be done to implement the coordination tool in the countries where it could not be installed in the first phase and, in addition, work will continue on strengthening the investigative capacities of the African police, on training in data processing, on operational cooperation, on standardising operational procedures and on the bases for the creation of a regional coordination office to manage the relationship between the security forces of the different countries.