This issue contains 4 sections.
@migoboras cameras to be introduced as of 1 August 2012
The new @migoboras camera system, which will underpin mobile immigration controls by the Royal Military and Border Police (KMAR) along the borders with Belgium and Germany, will go into operation on 1 August. The system will help the KMAR tackle illegal immigration and residence more efficiently and effectively.
The Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Policy has written to inform the House of Representatives about the launch date. The European Commission has indicated that it has no objection to the use of the camera system in support of mobile immigration controls. A preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice on such controls in border areas is expected at the end of July. The Netherlands will take account of this ruling when deploying the @migoboras system.
More targeted controls
The cameras will support the KMAR’s enforcement activities. The system works with risk profiles based on the KMAR’s accumulated knowledge and experience. A signal from a camera will prompt the KMAR to perform a check on a vehicle and its occupants. This makes it possible to target controls better and cuts down on the inconvenience suffered by legitimate cross-border traffic. The cameras will also improve traffic analysis, enabling the KMAR to tailor controls to the traffic situation.
The cameras have been installed on the 15 largest cross-border roads shared with Belgium and Germany: the A4 near Hoogerheide, the A16 near Breda, the A67 near Bladel, the A76 near Stein, the A2 near Eijsden, the A76 near Heerlen, the A74 near Tegelen, the N280 near Roermond, the A67 near Venlo, the A77 near Bergen, the A12 near Zevenaar, the N35 near Enschede, the A1 near Losser, the A37 near Emmen and the A7 near Reiderland. A number of KMAR vehicles have also been fitted with cameras. The system cost €19 million to develop and will cost €2 million a year to operate.
The KMAR has been conducting mobile immigration controls in the border regions for many years already. These are aimed at tackling illegal immigration and transnational crime associated with it, such as people smuggling, human trafficking, identity fraud and money laundering. The cameras make it possible to select vehicles that are likely candidates for a check, perhaps because they are a particular model or colour, or because they pass by at a particular time, or in a convoy with other vehicles.
If, for example, it should emerge that dark SUVs from a given country are being used frequently for people smuggling activities, @migoboras can select this specific category of vehicles. In this way, checks on legitimate motorists can be kept to a minimum. The decision on whether to stop a vehicle ultimately rests with the KMAR officer at the scene. Vehicle number plates are only recorded for immediate use and are not stored in the system. In exceptional or emergency situations (e.g. when an Amber Alert is in effect), however, the system can search for a specific number plate.