Budapest, August 26 (MTI) – Hungary’s police force is setting up a border police directorate and dispatching 2,106 extra police officers to bolster controls at the Hungarian-Serbian border, the national police chief said on Wednesday.
The directorate’s command centre will operate from Sept. 1 in the city of Szeged and a sub-unit will also operate in nearby Kiskunhalas, Karoly Papp told a press conference. Police helicopter units and mounted patrols with dogs will be deployed, he added.
The directorate will oversee six border control units staffed by 876 graduates of police college. These will start operating on Sept. 15, Papp said, noting the option of increasing their staff to up to 3,600.
Firearms will not be used against any illegal border-crossers but other legal means of enforcement may be used, said Papp.
The police force has been working in cooperation with German, Austrian, Serbian, Slovak and Czech counterparts and have set up joint investigation teams with the Austrian, German and Serbian police to uncover people-smuggling rings, he noted.
Frontex, the EU border protection agency, has dispatched 50 officers of its Schengen border control unit to serve along the Hungarian-Serbian border, Papp said.
There are seven official crossing points along the Hungarian-Serbian border section, three of which are operating around the clock, Papp noted.
Papp noted that 152,000 illegal entries have been recorded this year, with migrants arriving from 67 countries.
Most of those seeking asylum are Syrian, followed by Afghans, Kosovars, Tanzanians, Yemeni, Chinese and Cuban nationals.