PUBLISHED: 17:51, Thu, Mar 9, 2017 | UPDATED: 18:54, Thu, Mar 9, 2017
The new ‘border hunter’ force have undertaken a six month crash course to help police and army units protect Hungary’s borders.
Recruits have learned how to assemble guns blindfolded, how to handcuff people and judo as part of their training.
The border guards, who must be between 18 and 55 years old, are given training similar to police and learn other skills such as guarding a border fence, detaining large groups of migrants and tracking their paths.
Recruits will carry pistols with live ammunition, batons, pepper spray and handcuffs, and will also be equipped with night-vision goggles if needed.
Hungarian police aim to recruit up to 3,000 border hunters with recruitment scouts visiting secondary schools to find volunteers.
Asked under what conditions border hunters could use force against migrants, regional police chief Attila Piros said the rules were the same as for police – to “break resistance” but only as a last resort.
He said any force must be proportionate and justified. “One of the most important things in this six-month training that we teach as law but in fact has moral and ethical foundations is that criminals are human beings, everybody has human rights.”
Recruit Sandor Jankovics, 26, said he his proud to start border duty.
He is one of dozens undergoing fast-track training at Barcs, a border crossing with fellow EU country Croatia.