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Launch Of Updated Information Sharing System Across EU, Welcomed.

The Schengen Information System (SIS) Recast, will allow for enhanced information sharing on people and objects, allowing national authorities to better pursue and prevent serious crimes and terrorism.

The SIS Recast, by the European Commission has been fully implemented by An Garda Síochána, working in close collaboration with the Commission and other participating States.

It is the largest and most widely used IT system for public security in Europe and has received new functionalities through this upgrade, which went live this week.

Minister Harris has been discussing the upgrade with his EU Justice and Home Affairs colleagues at a meeting in Brussels today.

Ireland connected to SIS in March 2021 and since then it has proven to be an extremely effective tool for An Garda Síochána, in tackling crime domestically and also in contributing to international criminal investigations.

The system enables law enforcement agencies, including An Garda Síochána, to share and check data in real time on wanted persons, missing persons, persons who may not have the right to enter or stay in EU member states, and objects/vehicles that may have been stolen.

Under the updates this week, new types of biometrics, such as palm prints, fingermarks and DNA records (only in relation to missing persons) will be included on SIS to confirm and verify the identity of people registered in the system.

Authorities can also enter preventive alerts to protect certain categories of vulnerable persons, such as children at high risk of parental abduction, children at risk of becoming victims of trafficking in human beings, and children at risk of being recruited as foreign terrorist fighters.

Minister Mr Simon Harris said; “Gardaí must have access to the most up-to-date technology and data in order to continue to provide the world class policing service we have come to expect as we work together to build stronger, safer communities.
Crime does not respect borders, and new technologies, along with strong cooperation with our friends in Europe and beyond, is crucial in ensuring that people are safe and can feel safe in communities across Ireland.
I am confident that SIS RECAST will prove invaluable for An Garda Síochána and I commend the detailed work that An Garda Síochána has carried out over many months to ensure that Ireland has implemented this upgrade alongside the rest of the EU.”

Under the developments which went live this week, new alerts have been introduced across the SIS system.

These include:

*Introduction of a new alert category of “unknown wanted persons” connected to a serious crime, e.g., persons whose fingerprints are found on a weapon used in a crime;

*Extension of the existing category of “missing persons” to “vulnerable persons who need to be prevented from travelling,” e.g., children at high risk of parental abduction, children at risk of becoming victims of trafficking in human beings, and children at risk of being recruited as foreign terrorist fighters;

* Creation of the new category “inquiry check” allowing national law enforcement authorities to stop and interview a person in order for the issuing Member State to obtain detailed information;

* Introduction of the category of “objects of high value,” e.g., items of information technology such as laptops, which can be identified and searched with a unique identification number.

* Obligation for Member States to create SIS alerts for cases related to terrorist offences;

* Obligation to inform Europol of hit alerts linked to terrorism in order to help to “connect the dots” of terrorism at the European level.

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