German and Danish police offivers stand in front of their cars in the border area in Padborg, Denmark. In the future, German and Danish police will patrol the border area together. Photo: Benjamin Nol
Police officers from Denmark and Germany will in the future mount joint patrols in frontier areas, both in uniform and in plain clothes, it was agreed on Tuesday.
A corresponding agreement signed in the Danish border town of Padborg would allow police to respond "fast and flexibly" to calls and emergencies, Danish Justice Minister Karen Hækkerup said.
The move was necessary due to the use of new routes by criminals operating across the border, she added.
“This is yet another step in the joint fight against cross-border crime. The patrols will be based on current crime situations rather than borders,” Hækkerup said.
Andreas Breitner, the state interior Minister of Schleswig Holstein, said the agreement represented a historic cooperation between the countries.
“This is the first time in the nation’s history that Danish officers can operate in Germany and German officers in Denmark. Today is a historic day and the new cooperation between the police is a milestone,” he said at Tuesday’s press conference.
Aimed primarily at organized crime rings, the new mode of operation will cover a territory extending 25 kilometres into Denmark and 30 kilometres into Germany. Officers will be armed, but it was stressed that weapons will only be used in emergency situations.
Special joint border analysis teams have been set up to coordinate implementation the new strategy, including standardization of technical equipment, including weapons, issued to units concerned.