Police cooperation: Ireland joins the Schengen Information System

Ireland is today joining the EU’s Schengen Information System, the largest and most widely used information sharing system for internal security and external border management in Europe. The entry into operation of the system in Ireland will support cooperation between law enforcement authorities on fighting cross-border crime and terrorism, helping to enhance internal security in Europe. When conducting passport checks at the Irish border, law enforcement authorities will now receive real time information on people accused or convicted of crimes in other EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. National authorities will also have access to information on missing people in need of protection and stolen property, such as vehicles. To facilitate this cooperation, Ireland has set up a national SIRENE bureau, connected to other Member States’ bureaux, operational 24/7, and in charge of coordinating additional information exchange in relation to alerts. At the end of 2020, the Schengen Information System contained approximately 93 million alerts. It was accessed 3.7 billion times in 2020 and contained 209 178 hits (when a search leads to an alert and the authorities confirm it).