Photos: Ministry of Interior, Bulgaria
On 14 March 2018, the Executive Committee and the Management Board of the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) met in Sofia. The event was part of the calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the home affairs area.
During a thematic conference on fraud, delegates from the EU law enforcement authorities, Europol, and private sector partners discussed ways to prevent fraud, with a special focus on telephone scams. A comparative study on Member States’ experience with such scams will benefit the development of a specialised tool for the prevention of telephone scams, which will be published on the EUCPN website.
The conference was officially opened by Senior Commissioner Blagorodna Makeva, Deputy Director of the General Directorate of National Police, who underlined the fact that the prevention and investigation of telephone scams are among the main priorities of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior in recent years. “The communication environment we live in creates prerequisites for easier access to victims and resources, requiring us to use a proactive approach and develop effective preventive models. Through its mission, policy and activities EUCPN is pulling ideas, knowledge and practices that create new standards and addresses these challenges,” said Senior Commissioner Makeva, focusing on the role of prevention in providing a safe environment for the citizens of the EU.
The European dimension of fraud prevention was presented through Finland’s expertise in the field and Europol’s practice concerning fraudulent call patterns. Bulgaria outlined the specifics and methods for committing this kind of crimes in Bulgaria, the practical experience of the police authorities in prevention and detection of telephone frauds, as well as the administrative and technological anti-fraud measures developed and implemented by private companies, aimed at prevention.
The conference on fraud was preceded by an EUCPN Board meeting. In the presence of the national representatives of the EU Member States, the Network’s Secretariat members, and a European Commission delegate, the 2017 Activity Report was adopted. During the discussions on the results, a broad focus was placed on the analysis and evaluation of the Conference on Exchange of Best Practices, and the International Cyber Safety Competition both held in Tallinn, Estonia, in December 2017.
The Network’s 2018 work programme was also considered and adopted at the meeting in Sofia. The EUCPN activities will focus on two main campaigns: prevention of pickpocketing during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and preparation of a European Focus Day on home burglary prevention.
The European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) aims to actively support the development and improvement of the different aspects of prevention at EU level, as well as the crime prevention activities at national and local level through the implementation of various instruments: identification of good practices; knowledge and expertise sharing among Member States; gathering, systemising and evaluating information on implemented preventive activities; optimising the exchange of ideas and information between the Network’s members; supporting the development of preventive strategies at local and national level; promoting preventive activities through participation in workshops, seminars and conferences.