London Met Police chief visit to INTERPOL underlines co-operation

2 February 2010

LYON, France – Identifying areas for enhanced co-operation between INTERPOL and the London Metropolitan Police Service was a key area for discussion during a visit to the General Secretariat headquarters by Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson today.

Commissioner Stephenson, accompanied by Assistant Commissioner John Yates was briefed on INTERPOL’s tools and services, including support for major events, such as the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games.

Maximising information exchange, particularly in relation to terrorism and increased use of INTERPOL’s global databases, particularly DNA and fingerprints to identify arrested non-nationals were also discussed by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and Commissioner Stephenson.

“The Met is responsible for delivering security to the millions of people who live in and visit London, and this can only be achieved through working with partners such as INTERPOL,” said Commissioner Stephenson.

“Today’s meeting was an opportunity for both the Met and INTERPOL to explore ways of maximising the services we offer and identifying areas for further development together.”

In 2004, the London Metropolitan Police Service became the first force in Europe to connect to I-24/7, INTERPOL’s secure global police communications service, enabling users to access INTERPOL’s databases. Any hits generated by the Metropolitan police, are then followed up with the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in London.

Border control points across the UK also now have direct access to INTERPOL’s database of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents, containing details of more than 11 million passports. In 2009, the UK carried out more than 137 million searches, resulting in nearly 10,000 hits on individuals attempting to enter the country on a fraudulent document.

“The UK and particularly the London Metropolitan Police Service continue to be strong partners of INTERPOL and today’s meeting has given us fresh areas to consider in further developing our co-operation,” said Secretary General Noble.

“We have seen that when local and national law share vital policing information, such as DNA and fingerprints with the global law enforcement community and INTERPOL, that significant results can be achieved, and I believe that the more police communicate, the safer will be the global community,” added Mr Noble.