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05 October 2004 - Media release

INTERPOL calls for wider data access for the world's police

CANCUN, Mexico - INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble launched the organization's 73rd INTERPOL General Assembly with a call for member countries to give more rank and file police officers direct access to critical information in INTERPOL's criminal databases.

'Our purpose must be to bring the right information to frontline police officers, in the right format and at the right time,' the Secretary General told delegates from more than 120 INTERPOL member countries. 'I call upon all of you to give direct access to INTERPOL databases to all police officers who have a need for it.'

'The global fight against international crime and terrorism will be most efficient if international police information can be shared at all levels - local, regional and international.'

INTERPOL is the world's largest international police organization with 181 member countries on five continents.

More than 450 delegates gathered in Mexico to address issues confronting police who combat trans-border crime. In the four days of conference proceedings delegates will discuss law enforcement issues related to terrorism, organized crime, and drugs, trafficking in human beings and a range of other international offences which require global responses and solutions.

Delegates will also be updated on the expansion and successes of INTERPOL's databases in areas such as stolen travel documents, DNA and fingerprints.

'For INTERPOL to maintain its leading position in the field of international police co-operation, it must continue to define its basic strategic priorities, while continually adapting to changing types of crime,' said INTERPOL President Jesús Espigares Mira.

Mr Espigares Mira's four year term of office ends at this General Assembly and his successor will be elected by delegates on Friday, 8 October.

Mexico's Attorney General, Rafael Macedo de la Concha, told delegates: 'INTERPOL has set up a common front against trans-border crime. We all know we will be more vulnerable if isolated.'

The INTERPOL Secretary General also said he was eager to promote co-operation between international organizations in the fight against crime. 'No agency in these complex times can afford to go it alone,' Mr. Noble said.

INTERPOL has recently appointed its first ever representative to the United Nations. Dr K. Ulrich Kersten, the former head of the German federal police agency BKA, will take up his duties in New York on 25 October 2004

INTERPOL offers police in its member countries a range of crucial services and databases to fight international crime, including wanted persons notices, a variety of databases (including fingerprints, stolen travel documents, stolen vehicles and child abuse images), criminal analysis services and anti-terrorism programmes.