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12 September 2013 - Media release

Boosting national capacity key to enhanced security, says INTERPOL African regional meeting

ORAN, Algeria – Enhanced capacity building and increased policing information exchange at the national and regional levels have been underlined as key areas for development by senior law enforcement officials at the INTERPOL African Regional Conference in Oran, Algeria.

As part of a series of recommendations endorsed at the end of the meeting, delegates agreed the African region’s strategic plan for 2014 – 2016 which includes expanding the  use of  I-24/7, INTERPOL’s unique police communications system.

The strategic plan also includes supporting the African Regional Police Chiefs in identifying and dealing effectively with emerging crimes and criminals, via INTERPOL’s four Regional Bureaus in Abidjan, Harare, Nairobi and Yaoundé.

Other key measures from the conference include:

• Strengthening border security to support efforts to counter terrorism in Africa through INTERPOL’s operational tools and services, through capacity building activities and border operations,  and increased use of notices.

• Encouraging National Central Bureaus (NCBs) to provide data on known lost, stolen, trafficked or smuggled firearms to the INTERPOL Illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS)

• Enhancing the fight against illicit transnational trafficking in drugs and precursors in the region through encouraging NCBs to share information on wanted and/or suspected drug traffickers to enable cross-checking via INTERPOL’s databases in order to establish links and facilitate the detection and dismantling of criminal networks.

The Chairman of the conference and INTERPOL Vice President for Africa, Adamu Mohammed, said the three-day meeting had enabled delegates to discuss  crime trends and the strategies which need to be implemented to tackle them.

“We now need to ensure that our discussions are constructive in ensuring the security of the peoples of Africa. This means greater collaboration between NCBs and specialized law enforcement agencies to exchange information and populate INTERPOL’s databases with greater frequency,” said Mr Mohammed.

“Today the I-24/7 communications system still remains the most secure tool for connecting police forces internationally, and we must encourage and support its expansion to other law enforcement agencies so that they too can become more involved in combating transnational crime,” concluded Vice President Mohammed.

The conference closed with delegates designating Congo as the host country for the 23rd African Regional Conference.