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Minister of the Interior Boštjan Poklukar and Director General of the Police mag. Senad Jušić met today in Brežice with Mayor of the Municipality of Brežice Ivan Molan and representatives of the local communities of Rigonce, Loče, Rakovec and Velika Dolana.

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In view of the recent increase in the number of illegal border crossings, Mayor Ivan Molan addressed a letter to Minister of the Interior Boštjan Poklukar inviting him, among other things, to a working visit and putting forward, together with the representatives of the local communities, a proposal to increase the police presence in the mentioned areas. This is because recently, border villages have been crossed by large groups of foreigners trying to enter the country illegally, which has caused unease among community members. In the period from 1 January to 31 August 2023, the police recorded 36,125 illegal entries into the country. Of these, 34,501 illegal entries were recorded on the land border with Croatia.

The Minister and the Director General of the Police responded to the initiative and listened to the residents. "We understand the difficulties people are facing, which is why we are here to talk," the Minister said after the meeting, adding that it was important to create a sense of safety. The Minister also said that the Slovenian police are working well and efficiently, focusing in particular on compensatory measures after Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area. They have also been successful in arresting smugglers who profit from people’s hardships. The Minister also stressed the importance of cooperation with neighbouring Croatia. He called on Croatia to monitor the situation on their territory more closely. "We are already cooperating with Croatia by running mixed patrols," the Minister said, adding that Slovenia is also ready to step up its cooperation if Croatia asked for additional assistance in protecting the external Schengen border.

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Statistical data and the situation in the wider region clearly show that the situation in the main countries of origin of migration is not improving. Therefore the critical mass of people choosing to migrate for various reasons is increasing, he explained. He added that migration management is an ongoing issue at the EU level, as it is a common problem and common European solutions are needed.

The Director General of the Police, Senad Jušić, told the meeting that the police had reinforced their presence in the area with additional patrols and technical means. "I can assure you that the Slovenian police will be present wherever there is a need to further increase people’s sense of security." He also stressed the importance of the fight against smugglers, in which the Slovenian police work closely with other countries in the region. By 31 August this year, the police had dealt with 212 cases, in which 241 people smugglers with 1,380 foreigners had been arrested.

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Representatives of the municipality and local communities thanked the Minister and the Director General of the Police for their prompt response and visit and praised the work of the police to date.