Border Police lack staff, equipment to stop new wave of illegal migrants

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Source: Ilustracija

Bosnia and Herzegovina could face another wave of migrants this spring, the State Border Police Chief warned on Wednesday, noting that this agency lacks material-technical instruments to cover all locations where illegal crossovers are possible.

Zoran Galic said the data provided by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) and Europol indicate that illegal migrations will intensify on the Western Balkan route following the winter season, which puts Bosnia in danger of facing yet another pressure of illegal migrations while this agency is struggling with a serious lack of staff to cover the border.

Bosnia's Border Police have a total of 2,228 employees, 2,028 of which are police officers.

“1,677 police officers are engaged in the border control, of which 1,300 are police officers, 188 senior police officers, 108 sergeants and 81 senior sergeants,” said Galic, stressing that 281 posts are currently vacant.

According to the Border Police, to cover all possible illegal border crossovers spots the agency lacks 100 official vehicles, 132 binoculars, 66 IC devices, 66 thermal imaging devices, 86 scoutguard cameras and 1,250 LED lamps.

“Procurement of new specialised equipment to respond to all modern-era challenges of illegal migrations as well as the border protection is a necessity,” said the Border Police Director.

He recalled that 13,251 persons were prevented from illegally crossing the border from Bosnia's neighbouring countries.