Policing Art Crime in the European Union
The chapter presents an overview of the current situation and activities related to art crime policing in 14 EU member states with a major emphasis on the significant interstate differences. It then focuses on policy and policing efforts at the EU level in both the prevention and investigation of art crime, demonstrating especially that, despite a notable recent increase in attention, this issue has historically been assigned relatively low priority in the EU. This discussion is followed by a short review of the realities of transnational police co-operation on art crime in Europe, illustrating particularly the important role of Interpol and the obstacles met by police art crime specialists in their cross-border co-operation. The chapter further highlights the importance of informal networks and the personal dedication of individual police officers, which together appear to be crucial factors in enabling operational policing efforts in the prevention and investigation of art crime in the EU.