GENEVA The Geneva and Annemasse authorities signed an agreement on 17 January, to create a joint police task force to facilitate the crackdown on criminal gangs operating cross-border in the Priority Security Zone (ZSP) created in early 2013. The ZSP includes Annemasse, Gaillard, Ambilly and the Canton of Geneva. The Geneva government said the new brigade will initially be composed of two officers from each country, who will coordinate existing investigations and act on their own initiative. This is also to counter efforts by criminals to slip across the frontier.
The brigade is expected to be operational on 1 March, eventually becoming a permanent force. Under the command of an officer from the canton and one from the French police, it will be based in Annemasse, which more or less acts as a Geneva suburb. The 2007 Paris Accords allow mixed Swiss-French patrols. A key activity of the joint brigade will be to coordinate local, customs and frontier police from both countries. Since extra officers were added in the zone last year, burglaries have dropped by 40%. Several prostitution and begging networks also have been broken up. Local media reported last October that ZSP officers dismantled an extensive cocaine network in Annemasse, parts of which are notoriously insecure. Police also arrested a cross-border gang of young burglars from the Balkans known as the Jovanovics because of the name each gave under interrogation.