BUDVA, Montenegro – For Europe to remain strong in facing the threat of transnational crime and terrorism, the region must look to better integrate with the world, the region’s police chiefs heard on the opening day of the INTERPOL European Regional Conference.
In an increasingly borderless society, linking European regional policing platforms with their counterparts in Africa, Asia and the Americas is essential in the evolution of global policing was one of the key messages to senior law enforcement delegates attending the three-day meeting (26-28 May) in Budva, Montenegro.
Opening the conference, Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic said contemporary challenges are complex and require a united and global response, particularly in the fight against organized crime.
“This puts an additional emphasis on the importance of being a member, and taking an active part in the work of INTERPOL, which due to its unique structure, operational services and databases, effectively co-ordinates international police co-operation in preventing and suppressing crime,” said Prime Minister Djukanovic.
INTERPOL President Khoo Boon Hui said that the strong spirit of co-operation and close co-ordination which were key elements to the success of law enforcement in the European region needed to be built upon globally.
“We must evolve to better meet future challenges, seize opportunities and exploit their potential,” said President Khoo.
“Just as criminals and terrorists constantly change their tactics, the forces of law and order have to work together and keep raising our game.
“A model for this is the development of anti-crime initiatives such as Project Pink Panthers, created by INTERPOL at the request of European member countries, and which has resulted in a series of key arrests,” added President Khoo.
Close collaboration between countries participating in the Project Pink Panthers led earlier this month to two significant arrests, the first in Montenegro of a Serbian national and the second in Italy, less than two weeks later, of Radovan Jelusic, who is suspected of involvement in the 2007 high-value armed robbery of a jewellery store in the Ginza district of Tokyo.
As part of INTERPOL’s call for expanded regional co-operation, key items on the conference agenda include INTERPOL’s on-going collaborative efforts with regional bodies such as the Southeast Europe Police Chiefs Association (SEPCA), as well as initiatives with the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and European Union agencies such as Europol and Eurojust.
The issue of ‘borderless’ crimes, particularly those involving the Internet, is also high on the meeting’s agenda, with identity theft, cloud computing and the online supply of fake and illegal medicines and drugs the subject of panel discussions for the 125 delegates from 48 countries.