The specially equipped vehicles will make it easier for police officers to guard Croatia’s borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, which is also the European Union’s longest external border.
All 17 vehicles are equipped with mobile thermal imaging cameras, which can monitor a distance of up to five kilometers with high precision. Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Davor Božinović was on hand for their unveiling, noting that the cameras are the brain-child of Croatian companies gathered around the Ericsson Nikola Tesla Company. According to Minister Božinović, this innovative Croatian solution was created in discussions between Croatian companies and the Croatian police, who agreed that stationary and handheld cameras were not sufficient to keep the border safe.
Minister Božinović added that the mobile cameras are very popular with the European Commission, and expressed hope that other EU member states will show interest in making use of them as well. The self-contained system can spend six months in the field, thanks to various types of electrical charging - from solar panels and batteries to special methods of producing electricity from alcohol.
The minister concluded that the project, valued at 47 million Kuna, was financed primarily by EU funds, and that Croatia will continue to acquire equipment for patrolling the border, which includes the launch of five medium to long-range drones in 2020.
According to the latest data from the police directorate, Croatia recorded 17,000 cases of illegal migration in the first ten months of the year, which is an increase of 160%. In that same time period Croatian police also arrested 860 human traffickers, making it among the EU leaders in that regard and for which it has received praise from Europol.
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