Swiss and French police step up cooperation

Police in France and Switzerland are to share a radio channel in a bid to help them catch suspected criminals attempting to flee across the border.

This content was published on December 12, 2010 - 18:04 and agencies

The innovation was revealed on Sunday by the French-language newspaper Le Matin Dimanche.

A suitcase transmitter located in the Police and Customs Cooperation Centre (CCPD) in Geneva will make it possible to switch to the same channels on both sides of the border.

The transmitter, which has been put through several months of testing, has a range of several dozen kilometres, further than the global system for mobile communications (GSM) currently used.

A formal agreement to inaugurate it is due to be signed in the next few days by the police chiefs of Geneva and of the French Rhone-Alpes region.

Alain Burnand, Swiss coordinator of the CCPD, told the Swiss news agency that the new system met a “fundamental need” in cross-border police cooperation.

But he said that it was merely a forerunner of much wider cooperation in radio communication. European working groups are working on the issue, which is part of the Schengen agreement.

The 25 members of the Schengen agreement have scrapped border controls between them, but share a search system to track cross-border criminals.

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