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Positive Verbal Assessment of WCO Non-Verbal Risk Assessment Training

21 marzo 2016

The WCO joined resources with FRONTEX from 23 to 26 February 2016, in response to a request from Armenian Customs for a ‘tailor-made’ support mission to further their security risk assessment efforts.

The request sought information, advice and support for risk assessment training for officers responsible for dealing with travellers, drivers,air crew and air passengers.

The overall aim of the training was to familiarize the participants with an understanding of techniques to increase the ability to identify deception through assessing verbal and non-verbal communication. The content and delivery style was participatory and practical style of learning.

The agenda included a number of role-play exercises, video analyses and group work. Participants discussed techniques of observation and analysis of emotional indicators exposed through facial expressions, the movement of eyes, hands, legs, feet and the effect of the sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous system (for example). The programme also looked at self-awareness, active listening and several cultural awareness considerations.

In addition, a re-fresher on profiling and selectivity methodology was conducted. A hypothetical scenario based on airport passenger seizures was used to illustrate how to identify high-risk drug courier/s. Finally, time was set aside to discuss and compare concealment methods and examination techniques.

Positive participation, sharing of actual Armenian Customs seizures and feedback from participants indicated that the learning outcomes of each training session and the resulting overall goal of the training were reached. All participants showed a high level of interest and commitment.

Workshop participants came from a number of Armenia Customs Service offices, including airport, land border and anti-smuggling unit offices. The training developed their knowledge and skills in relation to questioning techniques and body language issues to enhance risk assessment decisions.