Fedpol has deployed police attachés abroad since 1995 to assist the Swiss police and judiciary in fighting serious international crime. Since 1 January 2017, they have also been mandated to deal with border and customs-related matters on behalf of the Federal Customs Administration (FCA). Similarly, fedpol can assign crime-related cases to the FCA’s liaison officers. This close collaborative work makes optimal use of existing resources abroad and exploits synergies to the full. Federal and cantonal law enforcement agencies and security services hence benefit from a greater international network.
At present fedpol has police attachés in Brazil, Italy, Kosovo, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia and Turkey, and at Europol in the Netherlands. FCA liaison officers are stationed in Bulgaria, Germany, Poland and likewise at Europol. Cross-accreditation in a further 16 countries brings the total number of countries covered by the network of police attachés and liaison officers to 26. And a Swiss liaison officer is also stationed at INTERPOL in Lyon, France.
Requirements of a police attaché
Police attachés are posted at Swiss embassies or general consulates. They must work efficiently and continually strengthen co-operation with the appropriate authorities in the host country. This requires a high level of intuition, patience, determination and personal responsibility. Equally important for establishing contacts and exchanging information is knowledge of developments in the host country and in Switzerland.
Tasks of a police attaché
Police attachés ensure the exchange of information between Switzerland and the host country, and provide support to the Swiss police and judicial authorities in combating serious crime. A police attaché represents INTERPOL NCB Bern abroad and looks after Swiss law enforcement officers when on official visits in the cross-accreditation countries.
The network of police attachés is a crucial instrument in law enforcement and fighting crime. Through their fast, secure and reliable exchange of information at international level and their reliable network of contacts, police attachés make an invaluable contribution to law enforcement.
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