INTERPOL hosts world’s first conference on homicide and serial sex crimes

25 November 2008

LYON, France – Identifying methods to quickly recognize and investigate serial homicide and sex crimes and their potential transnational links is the focus of the first international conference of its kind, hosted by INTERPOL.

Delegates from 36 countries attending the two-day conference (25-26 November) at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon heard that standard operating procedures for investigating these types of crime needed to be put in place on an international level to help law enforcement identify and arrest sex offenders and serial killers.

“In today’s world of increasing international travel, we can no longer assume that a criminal acting in more than one country is an exceptional occurrence,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“The global co-operation tools developed by INTERPOL enable law enforcement to easily and safely share photos, fingerprints, DNA and modus operandi with some or all INTERPOL member countries, which can result in identifying links between cases which otherwise would never have been made,” said Mr Noble. “If used systematically, INTERPOL’s databases represent a very powerful tool for investigators.”

An example of this is INTERPOL’s DNA database. Containing 77,000 profiles shared by 49 countries – out of the 56 worldwide which operate national DNA databases – to date 165 positive identifications have been made; of those, four concerned sexual assaults and 10 were murder cases involving multiple countries.

In addition to briefings on case studies, the conference will focus on investigative techniques such as behavioural analysis, methods of obtaining forensic evidence from victims and the INTERPOL tools available to support transnational investigations.

“There is a great deal of individual expertise in investigating homicide and serial sex crimes in our member countries, and this conference is the first step in making this knowledge and experience available to each of our 187 member countries,” said Emmanuel Leclaire, Assistant Director for INTERPOL’s Drugs and Criminal Organizations unit which organized the meeting.