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    • First workshop held on the preparation of SOCTA report

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    • Date: 03 July 2015
      Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), in cooperation with Ministry of Interior’s representatives, organized a workshop for the representatives of civil society organizations on preparation of National Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA).

      SOCTA (Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment) is a strategic assessment on future treats and the dynamics of development of serious and organized crime in Serbia, based on the analysis of current state in these areas, with the purpose of determining priorities for their prevention. BCSP, in cooperation with MoI and with the participation of civil society organizations’ representatives gathered around Working group for Chapter 24(Justice, freedom and security), National Convention on the European Union (NCEU) and coalition prEUgovor, organized a workshop in the process of preparing the first report of this kind for Serbia.

      Workshop participants were civil society organizations’ representatives who deal with subjects to be analysed by SOCTA report, from the areas of serious and organized crime: controlled psychoactive substances, irregular migration, human trafficking, high-tech crime, financial crime, general crime (arms trafficking, kidnapping and extortion, robbery and motor vehicles), money laundering and organized crime groups. Organizations which took part in the workshop were ASTRA- Anti -trafficking action, BCSP, Centre for Investigative Journalism (CINS), DIPLO, Group 484, and Share foundation.

      In the first part of the workshop, participants had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the methodology used by MoI in the report preparation process, as well as to give their own suggestions for the improvement of the methodological framework and information sources. In the second part of the workshop, participants engaged in the analysis of the environment in relation to the future development of organized crime in Serbia and the region, according to the PESTLE model (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors). Also, an assessment was made on the influence organized crime has on society and institutional development. In the last part of the workshop, the participants analysed the assessment of danger of serious and organized crime by observing identified crime forms through five groups of indicators: necessary resources for conducting criminal activities, their scope, flexibility in work, social tolerance towards crime forms and determining damages caused by criminal actions.

      The assessment determined that one of the key factors which can influence further development of serious and organized crime in Serbia is the different degree of social tolerance towards specific forms of criminal actions. This is especially important for specific types of controlled psychoactive substance for which social debates on legalisation are being conducted, as well as for financial crime in the part that covers  smuggling of excise goods, where both criminals and citizens have a direct financial benefit, but the  state is the only one suffering damages.

      At the end of the workshop, dynamic of future cooperation between civil society organizations and MoI on SOCTA report preparation was determined. Organizations shall participate in the preparation through providing information on the situation in areas of serious and organized crime which a specific organization follows, and the results of the analysis from the workshop shall be incorporated in this document. By the beginning of October 2015, the first draft of SOCTA report shall be completed, when an additional round of consultations with civil society representatives shall be organized.

      In the process of accession negotiations with the European Union, within the Chapter 24, Serbia made a commitment to complete the first SOCTA analysis by the end of 2015, based on the European Commission’s recommendations and in accordance with the Draft Action plan for Chapter 24.  The preparation of this report is conducted in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia with support of OSCE, based on EUROPOL methodology, and for 2016 a preparation of regional SOCTA report was planned. Based on these analyses, priorities shall be determined and strategic decisions on fight against crime shall be made. The Ministry of Interior, in charge of the preparation of this document, shall analyse qualitative and quantitative data from 2013 and 2014, as well as the first quarter of 2015, along with consultations with other state authorities, academic community and civil society representatives. According to the MoI representative who participates in SOCTA preparation, this document is also strategically the most important one for the opening of Chapter 24 in the negotiation process.

       

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