SOMEC (Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals) Project

SOMEC (Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals) was a two-year project funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Home Affairs. The project brought together a range of criminal justice organisations from across Europe to look at how Member States can co-operate in order to safeguard their citizens against travelling high risk dangerous offenders. The project responded to a number of high profile cases involving mobile EU nationals and also reflected growing concern that greater collaboration should exist across the EU to ensure enhanced public protection.

The main aims of the project, which DMU academics were concerned with included:

  • Identifying ways of improving cross-border cooperation between respective probation and law enforcement agencies.
  • Identifying how existing information exchange mechanisms may be improved to reduce crime.
  • Enhancing the ability of Member States (MS) to safeguard their citizens from harm.

In addition, the SOMEC Project sought to establish if all Member States had systems in place to:

  • Identify serious violent or sexual offenders.
  • Exchange information with other MS when it is anticipated the offender may be travelling across the EU.
  • Manage the risk posed by the offender when such information is received.

The project sought to explore the factors which result in the successful management of such offenders across the EU, informing recommendations and guidelines for the future. The project commenced in February 2013 and was completed in 2015.

Research was undertaken with personnel from 23 of the 28 EU Member States via a series of structured interviews and task groups involving law enforcement and offender management staff. Interviews with those with expertise in information exchanges systems such as Interpol, Europol, Schengen SIS II and ECRIS also occurred and case study examples were collated.

The project involved 13 project partners, including the National Crime Agency, Europol, Eurojust, Confederation of European Probation, Home Office, National Offender Management Service, and 3 country partners. The research stream of SOMEC is led by Professor Hazel Kemshall and Sarah Hilder.

The final conference will be held in The Hague, Netherlands, November 5-7 2014.

A press relase by the Home Office can be read here.