LYON, France - INTERPOL plans to create a series of Global Anti-Crime Centres (GACC) to serve as focal points for international law enforcement expertise in investigative techniques to offer increased operational support to member countries.
Built on the organization’s five crime priority areas, public safety and terrorism, financial and high-tech crime, trafficking in human beings, drugs and organized crime and fugitive investigative support, the centres will focus on crimes of global importance, such as use of the internet by terrorists, crimes against children and intellectual property crime.
'INTERPOL has undergone fundamental changes over the last several years to respond to shifting aspects of transnational crime and terrorism,' said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
'The campaign against terrorism and other serious transnational crime requires a more focused, comprehensive and sustained approach, which I believe will be achieved through the Global Anti-Crime Centres.
'Police officers and analysts working in the centres will be in a unique position to study the crime areas in a global manner to provide a fuller understanding of the various international dimensions to help our National Central Bureaus and member countries’ police services tasked with investigating complex crime cases internationally with limited resources, but under great time pressure.'
The site for the GACC will be in Vaulx-en-Velin, on the eastern side of Lyon, in the centre of the area designated for the Carré de Soie development project. The Greater Lyon Urban Authority has agreed to make a three-hectare site available to INTERPOL, free of charge.
'The decision to create the Global Anti-Crime Centres here clearly shows our commitment to keep Lyon as INTERPOL’s worldwide hub and to continue working closely with the local and national authorities in France to ensure our facilities remain state of the art,' said Mr Noble.
'We are laying out a vision of law enforcement development for the future, what we now need is support from the world community to make it a reality. At our General Assembly, I said that INTERPOL would continue to increase its facilities in Lyon if 50 million euros can be generated to support us. This goal is modest when one considers the global crime threat confronting us all.'
The decision to create the GACC in Lyon, which has been home to the General Secretariat since 1989, was welcomed by the Lyonnais authorities.
'INTERPOL’s decision to further develop their facilities in Lyon bears witness to the long and fruitful relationship which exists between us,' said Mr Gérard Collomb, Mayor of Lyon and Chairman of the Greater Lyon Urban Authority, who has taken a personal interest in the discussions on this subject over the past year.
'Already home to the national senior officers’ training school, the national forensic science laboratories and internationally renowned companies and organizations, Lyon is once again demonstrating its determination to continue to act as a focal point in support of public safety and security agencies the world over.
'The vision of regenerating the Carré de Soie site by the Greater Lyon Urban Authority is one which we hope will be matched not only by INTERPOL, but by other forward thinking organizations,' added Mr Collomb.
Funded by voluntary contributions by its 186 member countries, the world’s largest police organization operates on an annual budget of just EUR 42 million. A major fundraising initiative is to be launched by INTERPOL in 2007 to raise the additional EUR 50 million required to finance the construction of the GACC.