STA, 2 October 2019 - Even though the agreement on joint patrols policing the Slovenian-Italian border ended on Monday, police cooperation between the two countries is still in place in certain areas, in particular in the Koper Police Department district, police told the STA on Wednesday.
However, joint police patrols are no longer patrolling the Nova Gorica Police Department district.
Joint patrols were carried out between 1 July and 30 September. During this time, 46 joint patrols were deployed in the Koper Police area - 36 in Slovenia and 10 in Italy. Altogether, 276 hours were used for patrolling and a total of twelve Slovenian police officers were part of the joint patrols, said the police.
In the first nine months of this year the Koper Police apprehended about 3,920 illegal migrants (some 1,920 during the joint patrolling period), an increase over the same period last year when they caught some 3,270 foreigners who had crossed the border illegally (about 1,780 during the July-September period last year).
Despite the agreement coming to an end, Italy and Slovenia have carried on with policing the border together due to the pressing illegal migration situation and based on the agreement's terms and arrangement with the Italian authorities.
Both countries are also interested in extending their cooperation to other forms of joint effort enabled by the agreement, including joint analyses and forming a joint investigative task force.
According to the Koper police, joint patrols are effective and successful at their job. The police officers involved in them are motivated for this kind of work and are directly exchanging know-how, experience and information regarding illegal migrations.
On the other hand, the Nova Gorica police have decided not to proceed with joint patrolling, having agreed with the Italian authorities to end such police cooperation already on 9 August.
During the joint patrolling period, six joint patrols were carried out in the Nova Gorica area - half of them in Slovenia.
Until 29 September, the Nova Gorica police apprehended 190 illegal migrants (some 40 during the joint patrolling period), which is more than in the same period last year - 61 persons who had illegally crossed the Slovenian-Croatian border (some 30 during the July-August period last year).