In June, Naomi Yogi-van Loon, communications officer at EURIEC/RIEC Limburg had the opportunity to do a week-long internship at the Sicherheitskooperation (SiKo) Ruhr in Essen (DE). SiKo Ruhr is a German organisation with a similar goal and mission to the ARIEC in Belgium and the RIEC in the Netherlands. It was established in 2020 to promote cooperation between authorities within North Rhine-Westphalia in the fight against clan crime. Together with this partner of both the RIEC Limburg and the EURIEC, the cross-border cooperation in the administrative approach to organised crime is given a boost.
The internship was very enlightening, partly because of the insight into SiKo Ruhr’s mission and work, as explained by head Joachim Eschemann. In addition to a demonstration of the analysis tooling the SiKo Ruhr works with, employees explained from different perspectives (Bundespolizei, Police North Rhine-Westphalia, Duisburg municipality) how these agencies cooperate in the fight against organised crime. An interesting development is that in addition to clan crime, SiKo Ruhr’s work increasingly focuses on other phenomena, such as child benefit fraud and illegal gambling. While there are clear similarities between SiKo Ruhr and the ARIEC/RIEC in terms of work and themes, SiKo does of course operate in its own context, partly because of differences in state organisation and specific local issues. Inter-agency cooperation was illustrated during a visit to the Ordnungsamt of the Duisburg municipality and a joint control action in Essen.
All in all, a particularly instructive experience. Many thanks to all SiKo staff for their time and commitment to making this internship a reality, we look forward to continuing our cooperation.