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04.04.2008

At 0:00 on 30 March 2008, passport controls were abolished also at the airports for flights within the Schengen area. The Czech Republic became a full-fledged member of this area where no border checks are carried out at the internal borders. SIRENE Czech Republic is the central authority for searches conducted via the Schengen Information System (SIS) as well as other fields of the Schengen cooperation. In this relation, a statistical overview of hits based on alerts in the SIS was created. "There are many interesting figures proving that the abolition of border checks at the land borders has not led to any decrease in the number of detained searched persons and objects" stated Michael Weiss from the SIRENE Bureau. "We have found out that numbers are steadily increasing, especially as concerns hits abroad. I believe that this is a consequence of the fact there more than 1 million alerts were migrated into the SIS by the Czech Republic".

The SIS was launched in September last year. In the first four months of its functioning, approx. 830 positive hits in the SIS were detected concerning persons, objects, documents etc. When we compare data from the first free months of this year, we come to the conclusion that the number of positive queries has risen to more than 860. The difference is even bigger when comparing querying Czech alerts abroad. From September to December 2007, there were 280 positive queries - from January to March 2008 already 590 positive queries were detected.

In the period of use of the SIS (September 2007 - end of March 2008), the Czech Republic succeeded in detaining more than 80 wanted criminals. More than 100 offenders wanted by Czech courts were brought back to the Czech Republic thanks to the SIRENE Bureau. The SIS helped detect more than 500 foreigners who were in possession or applied for residence permit despite having an alert in the SIS issued by other Schengen States for the purpose of refusing entry. The neighbouring countries detected thanks to the SIS 35 vehicles wanted by the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic on the contrary found nearly 80 vehicles which had been stolen abroad. "We believe that the number of found vehicles will further increase in relation to the new obligation of authorities registering vehicles to check whether newly registered vehicle or submitted vehicle documents are not sought in the SIS" added Weiss.

Let's look at the activities of the SIRENE Czech Republic and the use of the SIS from point of view of concrete cases. "Our cases do not represent pure statistics; the SIRENE Bureau has participated in a number of well-known cases. To be mentioned is e.g. detection and return of Barbora Škrlová to the Czech Republic or detection of four Danish robbers in Prague three weeks ago". Without the SIS, law would not have been enforced in these cases.

Source: Criminal Police and Investigation Service Bureau