SINCE joining the newest version of a multi-national European intelligence database last week gardaí have already arrested a Pole in Cavan and a Slovak in Cork on outstanding European Arrest Warrants (EAW).
Last Monday (15 March) Ireland signed up to the second Schengen Information System (SIS II), which allows the authorities share intelligence with police in 30 other nations – 26 EU, and four Shengen nations, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland.
“Having access to the SIS II databases which contain law enforcement data from across 30 countries, gives An Garda Síochána and our law enforcement colleagues across Europe instant access to real time police data and intelligence,” he said.
“Accessing such information means that An Garda Síochána can swiftly deal with issues of serious crime with potential links to other European countries.”
SIS II will allow the automated, simultaneous, and immediate exchange of information across all other countries, and garda members add to the database in the form of PULSE alerts.
If A person or object is discovered in another country using SIS II, a hit will be recorded and law enforcement in that country will contact An Garda Síochána to discuss the relevant next steps.
In this way, all missing person records and lost or stolen object and vehicle records created by An Garda Síochána will be immediately available to those other countries using SIS II. During 2019 alone, there were 120,000 missing person records shared on SIS II.
Likewise, records in regard to all persons sought for arrest and surrender for extradition across Europe will be automatically checked each time a member of An Garda Síochána conducts a name search on the Garda PULSE system or when a member of the Immigration Service of the Department of Justice conducts a passport scan at a point of entry to Ireland. There were over 40,000 alerts on SIS II for persons wanted for arrest at the end of 2019.
Overall in 2019 there were 6.6 billion searches by member States, which led to 91 million alerts, and 283,000 hits processed.
SIS II allows for an easy exchange of information between national border control authorities, customs and police authorities on persons who may have been involved in a serious crime.
It also contains alerts on missing persons, in particular children, as well as information on certain property, such as banknotes, cars, vans, firearms and identity documents that may have been stolen, misappropriated or lost.