SOMEC (Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals) was a two year project funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Home Affairs. Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals (SOMEC), EU Action Grant, ‘Prevention of and Fight Against Crime’, ISEC, 2011/AG/4000002521, 2013-2015.
A partnership project between relevant law enforcement and offender management organisations across 4 EU member States (UK, Latvia, The Netherlands and Catalonia, Spain), the project brought together a range of criminal justice organisations from across Europe to look at how EU Member States can co-operate more effectively to safeguard their citizens against serious violent or sexual offenders travelling across EU borders. The project responded to a number of high profile cases involving mobile EU nationals and also reflects growing concern that greater collaboration should exist across the EU to ensure enhanced public protection. Cross border cooperation is well established in relation to concerns about terrorism, human trafficking, child sexual exploitation and football hooliganism, but information exchange pertaining to individual transient serious violent or sexual offenders is less apparent.
In 2013 SOMEC commenced an investigation into the use of existing information exchange mechanisms and monitoring, management and tracking systems available to EU Member States for use with serious violent or sexual offenders. The research pathway, led by De Montfort University, investigated current use of these mechanisms and included semi structured interviews with law enforcement and probation personnel from 23 of the 28 EU Member States. Focus groups were also held in the UK, Latvia and the Netherlands.
The project culminated in recommendations for policy and practice at EU and national levels and the provision of guidance for offender management/probation personnel.
SOMEC documents which can be accessed here include:
- Hilder, S and Kemshall, H (2014) ‘European Union Information Exchange Mechanisms. A Mapping Report of Existing Frameworks’. SOMEC Report 2 Part One.
- Kemshall, H., Hilder, S., Kelly, G. and Wilkinson, B. (2015) ‘Information Exchanges, Monitoring and Management – A Field Work Study of Current Responses by Member States’. SOMEC Report 2 Part Two.
- Kemshall, H., Wilkinson,B., Kelly, G. and Hilder, S. (2015) ‘What Works in work with Violent Offenders. An overview‘.
- Kemshall, H., Kelly, G.,Wilkinson,B. and Hilder, S. (2015) ‘What Works in work with Sexual Offenders. A Literature review‘.
- Kemshall, H., Kelly, G., Wilkinson, B. and Hilder, S. (2015) SOMEC Offender Management User Guidance Assessment and Management of Serious Mobile European Criminals
- ACRO, SOMEC User Guidance for Law Enforcement personnel can be accessed on the ACRO website via the following link https://www.acro.police.uk/acro_std.aspx?id=1540
Any enquiries relating to the Policy and Practice implications of SOMEC should be directed to the Home Office. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-report-promotes-joined-up-working-on-serious-offenders