Conclusion of the Schengen Agreement opened internal borders of the states to each other. Understanding that free movement of persons opened borders for the spread of crime as well, the states defined measures to be taken by law enforcement agencies to compensate safety deficiency.

The Schengen Information System (SIS) constitutes one of the compensation means. It enables the police, border and customs services of the Schengen area countries to exchange information on wanted or missing persons, stolen vehicles, banknotes, firearms, identity documents, vehicle registration certificates, etc. The second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) entered into operation in April 2013 which provides new options to enter biometric data (finger scans, photographs), data on air vehicles, boats, containers and securities.

The SIS operates in 26 countries of the European Union: Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Georgia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, the United Kingdom and Croatia. The SIS also operates in several countries which do not make part of the European Union, i.e. Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

To ensure smooth operation of the system, national SIRENE bureaus were set up in each state belonging to the Schengen area. The National SIRENE unit in Lithuania was set up in the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau. This unit, operational 24/7 in each member state, is responsible for any exchange of supplementary information connected to SIS alerts and quality of the information entered into the SIS.

The SIS was launched in Lithuania on 1st September 2007.

All the information regarding individuals and items is available in national databases of the member states and reaches national databases of all the states using the Schengen Information System via the central system within several seconds. The Schengen Information System is currently being updated in order to enable automated search according to fingerprints, which is particularly relevant in cases where an individual absconds making use of a fictitious identity or an identity theft.

SIRENE National Unit of Lithuania conducts international search for those absconding from law enforcement agencies or court in the Republic of Lithuania and foreign states, those missing without a trace and other persons as well as the search for items entering relevant details into the information systems of Interpol and Schengen, sharing additional information and monitoring actions of international search. This unit is also engaged in the arrangement and coordination of the surrender and takeover of individuals according to the European Arrest Warrant and execution of extradition, i.e. in case of detention of a person wanted abroad it provides supplementary information and organizes the actual transportation of the person from abroad in the final stage.

Last updated: 13-12-2017