Law enforcement agencies’ “must-have” benefits

Law enforcement agencies in each country must have tight border security to prevent terrorists and criminals from crossing their borders. They must also combat illegal immigration and the illicit traffic of contraband goods.

The need for Advance Passenger Information data

Acknowledging the seriousness of cross border crimes and the security priorities of different countries, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) formulated the security standards. Its Recommended Practices (SARPs) – Border Controls and Procedures – Annex 9, has made it mandatory for countries to have an API (Advance Passenger Information) system.

This API data comprises the first (given) and last (family) names, gender, date of birth, nationality, place of birth, type of travel document, issue and expiration dates, and country of issuance. In addition, before flying, passengers must disclose biographic data concerning their identity to airlines. This information is subsequently screened for security clearance by border agencies and law enforcement officers in the destination country.

Passenger screening at the borders

Passenger screening poses a significant challenge for border management- not just at airports but at seaports too. This screening process is mandatory at every entry point and border crossing to minimize cross-border security risks.

Leveraging its identity and security expertise, WCC designed HERMES. Our HERMES software is a dynamic Advance Passenger Information (API)/ Passenger Name Records (PNR) screening system intended to address the security requirements of all law enforcement organizations irrespective of their size and scale of operations.

Safeguarding borders with HERMES

Border agents must check all passengers against national and international watch lists, regardless of whether they are traveling by sea or air. Then estimate each passenger’s risk. If a passenger appears on a watch list or for other reasons represents a high risk, officials must decide what action to take.

Successfully deployed at airports worldwide and seaports in Europe, HERMES is built using WCC’s ELISE ID Platform. Therefore, border control agencies or Passenger Information Units (PIU) can quickly screen and match passengers against national and international watch lists, analyzing each passenger’s risk against specified profiles such as human trafficking, drug smuggling, and terrorism. HERMES successfully identifies travelers on wanted lists while at the same time preventing the detention of innocent citizens and reducing friction at borders.

Due to our successful deployments worldwide, WCC has gained exceptional experience processing the different data structures and formats received from air carriers and sealines. HERMES features include multicultural name matching capabilities and a full range of watch lists and risk assessment features. It also meets WCO/IATA/ICAO standards.

Advantages for law enforcement agencies

  • Accurate scanning – Our HERMES Border Management and Passenger Screening Solution begins scanning passengers 24 hours before their flight takes off, giving the border police more time to review all passengers and strategize and identify criminal suspects accurately.
  • Speed – The main advantage of HERMES is the speed at which the system helps law enforcement agencies scan the air and sea travel passenger information. Less friction at borders improves the customer journey. Furthermore, deployment is intelligent, efficient, and fast.
  • Data security – Even before the flight arrives at the airport, border security officials have intelligence information thanks to HERMES. HERMES integrates several data sources, allowing it to handle massive amounts of information. Rest assured, HERMES follows strict regulations to protect the passenger data and does not collect passenger data without their consent.
  • Multicultural name matching – Multicultural name matching matches the passenger names across diverse cultures and nationalities to give law enforcement agencies an inclusive approach to identifying suspicious travelers. Our matching technology catches and matches many name variants with ease, with the additional capability of resolving incomplete or incorrect data.
  • Rule-Based targeting – HERMES rule-based targeting helps border intelligence units to make their own rules based on country-specific security requirements. For instance, the HERMES system will create an alert if a mid-age passenger originating from a war-hit country has previously visited another country infiltrated by militancy and is booked on a flight to travel to a developed country in the west.

Jonas Oijevaar, Product Manager of HERMES at WCC, adds:

“Nowadays, countries are increasingly aware that checks at their sea borders are equally important. WCC offers a fast and reliable solution for both scenarios”. “Because of its fast response time, our HERMES API/PNR solution is ideal for seaport borders handling vessels with short crossing times.”

To know how WCC HERMES can help law enforcement agencies secure international borders worldwide, feel free to reach out and learn more.

Article by: WCC Community
Published on: March 8, 2022

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