Finnish police pursue broad cross-border cooperation. The cooperation is considered international, as it takes place across Finland’s national borders. Cooperation is important, because the Finnish police can only operate in Finland. The authorities of other states cannot maintain law and order in Finland.
Not all forms of crime appear in one state only. Criminals are organised and operate through cross-border networks. People can become victims of different types of crime when moving freely and using information networks. State borders can only hinder crime to a limited extent as some of it takes place through information networks.
Cooperation improves Finland’s internal security
It is possible to prepare for different threats beforehand and prevent them from coming true. Thanks to cooperation, criminals can also be caught outside of Finland. The police have many ways of cooperating across borders, such as
- commitment to the crime prevention conventions of international organisations usually offers the police access to the means available under the conventions,
- participation in information exchange between the international criminal police organisation Interpol and the police of different countries,
- participation in cooperation for simultaneously revealing criminal organisations together with the authorities of the European Union,
- agreeing practical police matters with the neighbouring countries.
Cooperation involves learning and making things compatible
A broad-based, unbiased approach is important in international cooperation. Different authorities look after internal security in different countries. There are several police authorities in some countries. Different types of tasks and operating methods are constantly being combined in international cooperation.
The authorities also try to learn from the means and working methods of other authorities. Finnish arrangements are usually considered practical and flexible.
Cooperation relations do not come up on their own. The cornerstone of cooperation is often multilateral and bilateral agreements between states. By committing to the agreements, they indicate their will to act together.
The intention is to find solutions and operating methods for common problems through practical cooperation relations, which are maintained and updated in regular meetings. Documents describing the common goals in more detail are called cooperation programmes or plans.
Finland is a fairly small nation and its police are a small organisation. The Finnish police have a lot of experience about cooperation between authorities and with stakeholders. We also actively develop and organise international cooperation. It is often a good idea to arrange special competence training together. Useful things are implemented together with international partners, of the kind we could not accomplish alone.
The police receive and submit a lot of information across borders
The police need information in order to be able to ensure the security of society. Information exchange is also the cornerstone of international cooperation of the police. It means exchanging information with the authorities of other countries. The international criminal police organisation Interpol and the European Union law enforcement agency Europol are also partners in information exchange. Information exchange can concern suspects, stolen documents, vehicles or illegal substances, for instance.
The police exchange information in order to prevent crime. Criminal groups usually try the same technique of crime in many states. The techniques of crime are called criminal phenomena. Information obtained from abroad on such phenomena makes it easier for the authorities to identify them and communicate about them.
The National Bureau of Investigation acts as the centre for international criminal police cooperation in Finland. In this capacity, the National Bureau of Investigation acts as a contact point for the law enforcement authorities of whole Finland. The authorities can contact the National Bureau of Investigation for advice, and its experts provide guidance in information exchange. The police need such expert assistance in making international information searches, for instance.
The National Bureau of Investigation houses the Communications Centre. It is the main user of encrypted international information exchange channels. It also ensures that Finland provides additional information for warrants of apprehension, for example.