Final week of the Criminal Course of the CEPA in Budapest

Between 3th March  and 19th April 2024 nineteen police officers took part in the Criminal Course of the Central European Police Academy (CEPA), held at seven venues – in Bratislava (SK), Prague (CZ), Wiesbaden (D), Vienna (A), Ljubljana (SLO), Bern (CH) and Budapest (H). The training focused on cross-border and international criminal investigation and prevention strategies and the cooperation of police forces in the region.


A new member of the Central European Police Academy

A new member, the Principality of Liechtenstein, has joined the Central European Police Academy (CEPA). Liechtenstein is a small country with a total of 80 police officers. The organisation of and participation in international training courses is a challenging task due to the size of the country. However, the country needs international contacts and cooperation, as combating crime is inconceivable without international co-operation – just think of cybercrime, which knows no borders at all. Liechtenstein’s official language is German and it is bordered by Austria and Switzerland, which are also members of the CEPA. It is therefore a logical choice for Liechtenstein to join the German-speaking CEPA. The highest CEPA authority, the Board of Directors, negotiated and decided on the membership application.  The basic document of the CEPA, the Joint Declaration, was supplemented by an Supplementary Statement. The Supplementary Statement was signed by the CEPA board members and, on the Hungarian side, by Major General Dr Sándor Töreki, Deputy President of the National Police Head Quarters. The Supplementary Statement and membership came into force on 1 March 2024 with the signature of Sabine Monauni, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Cybercrime as a new challenge for police executives

MEPA specialist seminar at the Centre for International Training in Budapest

Between 19-22th February 2024, the CEPA seminar “Cybercrime as a new challenge for police executives” took place at the International Training Center in Budapest. The seminar was initiated by Major General Dr Sándor Töreki, Deputy National Police Chief for Criminal Investigation, Hungarian member of the CEPA Board. Cybercrime poses challenges for police forces worldwide, including in the Central European region, which can only be tackled successfully through international cooperation. Success will be greatly influenced by the appropriate integration of the fight against cybercrime into the structure of the police and the clear formulation of tasks in this area. Due to the novelty of the topic, all experiences and best practices need to be recognize.  

Major General Dr Attila Petőfi, Chief Representative of the National Police Chief, opened the event. In his opening speech, Dr Petőfi encouraged the participants to take advantage of the time to share as much information and experience as possible. 

The expert speakers from the Hungarian side were the representatives of the National Police Headquarters, the RIPO National Bureau of Investigation and the Police Headquarters of Győr-Moson-Sopron Castle County. Pol. Colonel Ágnes Nagy, Deputy Chief of Police for CID of Győr-Moson-Sopron Castle-County, gave a presentation on the crime situation, cybercrime, online fraud in the Castle-County and the possibilities of asset recovery. János Almádi, an external expert, spoke about the impact of artificial intelligence and its social aspects.

The foreign participants, criminal investigators in leading positions, reported on the services for combating cybercrime and their tasks in their countries. We listened to relevant information about the police structures and interesting cases in Austria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Switzerland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Speakers were sent by Europol, Cepol and Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Criminal Police Office in Germany).

As part of a specialist excursion, we visited the Budapest Police Headquarters, where Colonel Dr Adrián Pál, Budapest’s Deputy Chief of Police for CID, presented two cases that met with a great response. We visited the Security Directorate, Cyber Protection Centre of OTP Bank Ltd. where Gábor Bucsek, Director of IT and Bank Security of OTP Bank Ltd. welcomed the group.

The specialist programme was complemented by a cultural supporting programme: a guided city tour of Budapest and a visit to the Hungarian Parliament. The early spring weather provided a wonderful backdrop for the programme. In their feedback, the participants highly valued the fact that, they were able to expand their information level and also their professional network of contacts, to which the round table discussions on the programme also contributed. They also expressed the wish that the seminar could be organized again in an extended version.

Final week of the 26th MEPA special course in Budapest

The Hungarian course week of the MEPA special course 2023 took place between October 16th and 20th at the International Training Center. At four event locations, the participants enriched their knowledge with the help of lecturers and experts on the subject of border police tasks and compensatory measures. During the Hungarian course week, which was also the final week, 24 police officers from the seven MEPA countries were received. In addition to the presentation of the border police situation of Hungary and the migration pressure, the main topics also included biometrics and the criminal police aspects of illegal migration, such as smuggling in human beings. The participants took part in an excursion to the border crossing point in Tompa, which is under the jurisdiction of the Bács-Kiskun County Police Headquarters, to the security border barrier and the border police inspectorate in Bácsalmás. The range of activities also included a visit to the National University of Public Service, where participants received first-hand information about police training and further education.

The MEPA special course 2023 was concluded on October 20th with a festive award ceremony in the presence of high-ranking guests from home and abroad. Mr Pol. Colonel Dr. László Balázs, Head of Department, State Police Headquarters Department for Border Police and pol. Lieutenant Colonel Dr Éva Földesy, Head of the National Contact Point of the CEPA in Hungary, handed over the certificates to the course participants for the successful completion of this CEPA training. Mr Pol. Colonel Günter Wendt, Deputy Head of Department for Border and Alien Police Affairs of the Austrian Police Headquarters, spoke in his ceremonial speech about the importance of international cooperation in the performance of border police tasks in challenging times, to which CEPA offers an appropriate background. In his closing speech, the course spokesperson, Mr Stefan Schaab, spoke – after projecting a photomontage from the professional photos of the Austrian participant Klaus Huemer, spoke about the knowledge and experiences they had acquired during the course and thanked all the responsible employees at MEPA for organizing the course at a high level.