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15 October 2009 - Media release

INTERPOL General Assembly calls for greater global integration of national police investigations

SINGAPORE – A series of measures aimed at encouraging greater integration of national investigations by using INTERPOL’s global policing tools and databases have been endorsed by delegates at the organization’s General Assembly, which closed on Thursday.

More than 800 senior law enforcement officials from around the world backed a number of recommendations to enhance operational support, including the expansion and increased use of INTERPOL’s DNA and fingerprint databases by frontline officers in member countries to help solve crimes and identify fugitives through data comparison.

Enhancing the status of INTERPOL’s Red Notices, or international wanted persons notices, was also a recommendation supported at the five-day meeting in Singapore.

INTERPOL President and Commissioner of Singapore Police Force, Khoo Boon Hui said the meeting had provided an opportunity to forge new ground.

“As countries have become more integrated, so has criminal and terrorist activity. Increasingly there is greater recognition of the nexus between unstable states, crime and terrorism,” said President Khoo.

“It will no longer be sufficient to deal with each of these in silos and our commitment to playing a larger role in anti-corruption and peacekeeping will allow INTERPOL to be more effective and take a proactive approach.”

Delegates also endorsed a resolution calling for member countries to promote the use of technological tools such as access-blocking of websites containing child sexual abuse images. To support national units investigating these types of crime, the INTERPOL General Secretariat will also create and share with police worldwide a list of Internet addresses of sites identified as containing abusive images.

The development of an information exchange platform for National Anti-Corruption entities – including a strategic Anti-Corruption Information database to promote co-operation in exchanging corruption-based information to identify trends and develop strategies to combat corruption activities – was also supported by the General Assembly.

“Time and time again we have seen the results which can be achieved when national police forces use the full resources of INTERPOL to support their investigations. No country can afford not to exchange potentially vital data via INTERPOL or fail to check information against our global databases if they want to consider their investigation thorough,” said Secretary General Noble.

“Tackling transnational crime effectively and identifying criminals worldwide needs better information sharing and use of INTERPOL’s global databases by law enforcement officers to ensure that no potential links to other crimes worldwide are overlooked,” added Mr Noble.

The world’s largest police organization’s annual meeting also included a joint INTERPOL-United Nations ministerial meeting, which saw more than 60 ministers endorse a Declaration on enhancing the role of police in the world’s peacekeeping operations as a vital element in ensuring global security.

The application by Samoa to join INTERPOL was also approved by the General Assembly, making it the organization’s 188th member country.