Police Union: Police forces struggling with serious flaws in EU asylum policy

Women_and_children_among_Syrian_refugees_striking_at_the_platform_of_Budapest_Keleti_railway_station._Refugee_crisis._Budapest,_Hungary,_Central_Europe,_4_September_2015._(3)
Syrian asylum seekers (Photo: Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons). Syrian asylum seekers (Photo: Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons)

There are serious flaws in Europe's policy in admitting asylum seekers and it is the police forces that suffer from it, according to the European Police Union (EPU). Police forces in the Netherlands, Balkans and Germany are understaffed and ill-equipped to process and screen the large number of asylum seekers flowing through the EU, the union concludes in a survey of police officers, the Telegraaf reports.

"Immediate action by the European institutions is required to prevent further escalation", Gerrit van Kamp, president of both the EPU and Dutch police union ACP, said. Police officers from the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria participated in this study.

According to the EPU, the results show that asylum seekers registration does not proceed properly - large groups of asylum seekers are not screened and there is only limited exchange of information between the different transit- and destination countries. "Therefore potential terrorists can travel unseen in the asylum flow", the EPU said. "There is no tracking system, the police have no idea of who is going where."

Police officers are dealing with more aggression and violence, particularly in Germany and the Balkans. "Many officers feel that politicians look away from the problems and they are left to their fate", Van de Kamp said.

The survey also revealed that officers are not being protected by infectious diseases that asylum seekers bring with them. In Italy 45 officers were diagnosed with TB. The Netherlands had one such case, and the tuberculosis diagnosis had to be kept secret, according to the union.

Van de Kamp and the EPU calls on the European countries to respond to these warnings. "The safety of police and society is in serious danger. Political leaders have an obligation to work for the necessary protection of police officers and thereby society."

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