CEPOL – Lisbon, Portugal
Last week the network lead on the most recent delivery of training as part of CEPOL’s annual training calendar. Providing ongoing support and development of international football policing training, building on the PE-FPTP, this was the first in-person training in over 2 years. Recognised as the largest training course on CEPOL’s annual programme, it brought together 40 officers from 25 countries, representing a range of roles including match commanders, spotters, football intelligence officers, and members of the respective NFIPs.
The primary aim of the 5-day course was to enhance safety and security by increasing the effectiveness and harmonization of the policing of football matches with an international dimension within Europe. Designed around several plenaries and workshops, as well as an operational match observation, the course created several spaces for sharing and exchange of good practice. Drawing on the NFIP network’s regular insights and analysis of current activity across the footballing calendar, it was also able to highlight trends and raise various areas of discussion with the experts in attendance.
The programme is constantly updated and revised, to include most recent findings and insights gathered across Europe. In this edition, this included contribution from a range of international organisations (e.g., University of Liverpool; FSE; Cardu; Europol), as well as some unique insights from the Portuguese hosts (e.g., Portuguese NFIP; Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna; Autoridade para a Prevenção e o Combate à Violência no Desporto).
The course provides a unique opportunity for officers to review approaches, policies, and guidance at national as well as international level. Focusing on practitioners and active officers, it remains one of the only courses to regularly bring together a broad range of policing experts and reinforce the importance of ongoing exchange and sharing of good practice.