Hungary deploys police officers unit to Serbia to fight migration

By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

As part of the cooperation between the Hungarian and the Serbian police, the 16th Hungarian police contingent has been deployed to Serbia to help combat illegal immigration into the European Union.

The members of the unit were seen off on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Hungarian Police Service in Budapest, the National Police Headquarters (ORFK) said.

Hungary is facing double migration pressure: Refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine are being received from the east, while illegal migrants are being dealt with on its southern border.

Budapest has remained committed to preventing illegal migrants from entering the country and the European Union, but to do so they must also work closely with the authorities of neighboring countries, the ORFK explained.

According to national news agency MTI, László Balázs, head of the Border Police Department of the ORFK, said in his farewell speech on Tuesday that “thanks to the effective action of the Hungarian and Serbian police, the number of illegal border crossing attempts on the southern border has decreased.”

Traffickers regularly change their routes and methods of transporting illegal migrants to their destination countries, taking into account the road infrastructure and terrain and using so-called alternative routes. Because of this, authorities must remain vigilant, the police colonel added.

The Hungarian police officers’ main task in Serbia is to carry out patrols to prevent and detect illegal border crossings while assisting with the apprehension of people smugglers and illegal migrants. They will be deployed not only in the immediate vicinity of the border but also on roads in low-lying areas.

The contingent will use off-road service vehicles, hand-held night vision devices, hand-held thermal imaging cameras, and mobile thermal imaging cameras to help protect the border section concerned. The 32-strong contingent will carry out its duties with its own equipment and will exercise its powers under the direction and supervision of the host country’s law enforcement agency, the statement added.

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