KIEV - INTERPOL's 33rd annual European Regional Conference ended on Friday with delegates from 44 countries endorsing a number of important initiatives aimed at improving efficiency and co-operation among the region's police as they combat international crime.
Following the endorsement this week by the G8 nations of INTERPOL's stolen travel documents database, delegates to the Kiev conference agreed to take all necessary steps to have use of this crucial resource endorsed by European member countries not already using it.
Delegates also approved a plan for joint INTERPOL-Europol incident response teams to be dispatched immediately to the scene of any major terrorist attack anywhere in Europe.
Among the other measures agreed upon during the three-day meeting of INTERPOL's European member countries:
- increased use of INTERPOL's array of other databases (wanted persons, fingerprints, DNA, firearms, drug seizures, etc) and for more data to be provided by member countries for use in these databases
- extending the use of INTERPOL's new global electronic police communication system, known as I-24/7, beyond the organization's National Central Bureaus to frontline law enforcement personnel; for example, at border checkpoints and airports
- ambitious new targets for the exchange, storage and exploitation of police information
- new standard message formats for exchanging information about child sex abuse images on the Internet
- updated performance and best-practice standards for all of INTERPOL's European National Central Bureaus.
Delegates at the conference encouraged INTERPOL to continue its close involvement in all European initiatives relating to international police co-operation. They agreed that the I-24/7 system is INTERPOL's primary means of secure police communication and an important new tool to tackle international crime.
'The endorsement by the European Regional Conference of INTERPOL's stolen travel documents database and the agreement to extend use of I-24/7 to frontline law enforcement personnel at places like border checkpoints is a clear recognition that these tools are essential for a secure Europe,' Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said.
Delegates to the conference also welcomed the introduction of the new INTERPOL Orange Notice, designed to alert police, international organizations and other public institutions of new terrorist modus operandi and new threats in the form of suspicious packages, letter bombs or disguised weapons.
'The terrorist threat knows no boundaries,' INTERPOL President Jesús Espigares Mira said in his opening address. 'Police forces have to organize themselves in order to counter the destructive potential of such crime.'
INTERPOL is the world's largest international police organization, with 181 member countries on five continents.