The cross-border police team is a merger between the Koninklijke Marechaussee (NL), Politieeenheid Oost-Nederland (NL), Bundespolizeidirektion Hannover, Polizeidirektion Osnabrück (Lower Saxony) and Kreispolizeibehörde Borken (North Rhine-Westphalia). Working under one roof and headed by a coordinator, this special unit ensures security in the border region. The team conducts joint patrols in the German-Dutch border region to combat cross-border crimes such as smuggling, human trafficking, document crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and vehicle crime.
Every year, the approximately 20 GPT police officers (10 Dutch and 10 German) are active in over 1,600 cases. In addition to numerous drug discoveries (approximately 350 kg of narcotics with a market value of over 8 million euros), since 2008 the GPT has been able to apprehend over 700 criminals wanted by international searches or goods of high value. The patrol cars are each manned by one German and one Dutch officer and do not have to stop at the border. When crossing the border, the command changes from one police officer to the other. The GPT began its work on 1 June 2008 and was at that time the first institutionalised and permanently oriented purely operational police team that was able to fight crime along an inner-European border without any de facto barriers.
The cross-border police team in Bad Bentheim has proven its worth. An extended operation, especially with the targeted information control as a component, should make the operation of the GPT even more effective. The use of the latest search techniques and secure data lines as well as the implementation of digital radio network connections between the police forces of both states are in the focus of the operational work. A more effective cooperation of the participating security authorities in the border area on the basis of targeted information (collection, evaluation and control) is the aim of the project in addition to the feasibility studies on the connection of technical aids and the use of a joint information centre.
In addition to the expenses for the project listed in the cost plan, the participating authorities will provide additional personnel (20 employees in the GPT and 3 employees for information control). Furthermore, other expenses for the normal operation of the GPT are not quantified (operation of radio masts, technical network, additional patrol vehicles, …) which are not included in the co-financing as costs of the project. The share of the participating authorities in the total cost of the project is estimated at several million euros.
The successful work of the GPT Bad Bentheim within the EU project was extended until 31 March 2019 and supported by the European Union, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the National Politics (NL) and the State Chancellery of Lower Saxony with funds totalling around 650,000 euros.
The Cross-border Police Team (GPT) will continue its work even without the expired financial support from the European Union. A paper to this effect, the so-called “Ahauser Convention”, was signed by the participating heads of authorities on 28 March 2019 during a ceremony in the Kulturquadrat in Ahaus.
The five partner authorities, the Osnabrück Police Headquarters, the Politie Oost-Nederland, the Koninklijke Marechaussee, the Borken District Police Authority and the Hannover Federal Police Headquarters, agreed to maintain the status quo of the GPT and to intensify and expand cross-border cooperation. According to the agreement, the team, which is popular with the media and the population, should be able to be deployed even more flexibly for investigations, search measures and support in the future. The exchange of police information along the border will also be expanded – possibly through a joint information centre. The idea of the GPT, a cross-border association unique in this dimension, is considered a model for police cooperation in many border regions, including the areas of the German-Polish and German-Danish borders.
1.4.2015 - 31.3.2019
Socio-cultural and territorial cohesion in the programme area
Bundespolizeidirektion Hannover, Kreispolizeibehörde Borken, Koninklijke Marechaussee / District Noord-Oost / MPC 33 K, Nationale Politie Eenheid Oost-Nederland,
|Nationale Politie Eenheid Oost-Nederland||32.106,69 €|
|MWIDE NRW||79.166,31 €|
|Bundespolizeidirektion Hannover||61.390,71 €|
|MB Niedersachsen||79.166,31 €|
|Kreispolizeibehörde Borken||14.581,82 €|
|Koninklijke Marechaussee / District Noord-Oost / MPC 33 K||15.311,90 €|
|EFRE / EFRO||399.829,87 €|
|Polizeidirektion Osnabrück||38.939,82 €|
|Korps Nationale Politie||79.166,31 €|