LYON, France – Celebrating INTERPOL’s 25 years in Lyon, the city’s Senator-Mayor Gérard Collomb and other senior French officials joined INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock in marking the anniversary of the world police body’s establishment in the French city.
Also attended by Stéphane Rouvé, Préfet Délégué pour la Défense et la Sécurité de la Préfecture du Rhône, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps, Town Hall and Lyon Police, the event underscored the strong ties between France and INTERPOL, whose General Secretariat headquarters were established in the country in 1946, first in Paris and since 1989 in Lyon.
Underlining the need for cooperation between countries worldwide against crime, Lyon’s Senator-Mayor Gérard Collomb said: “More than ever there is a vital need for strong international organizations like INTERPOL in the face of globalization, technological development and increasing security threats. At a time when terrorists seek to enroll new recruits and threats such as cybercrime are emerging, INTERPOL’s mission is necessary more than ever.”
In this respect Mr Collomb pointed to Lyon’s international role in providing an ‘ecosystem of security’, and underlined the city’s continuing partnership with the world police body as both Lyon and the Organization look to the future.
Welcoming Mr Collomb to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters, Secretary General Jürgen Stock said Lyon, its authorities and people had played their part in helping INTERPOL become the global organization that it is today.
Mr Stock said the last 25 years had seen INTERPOL adapt to a wider spectrum of transnational threats, and respond to these threats by developing more tools and services to help police worldwide address them.
“We must now reflect on where this work has taken us, and where it has had the most impact. We must now look back in order to move forward,” said Secretary General Stock.
“By doing so, we can then chart a course that sees us incorporating these experiences and fostering these successes in order to strengthen our reputation as an effective, concrete global player in the field of international security.”
“This means leveraging the strengths that brought us to prominence, and that have defined us as the international organization built for police, by police.”
“It is our global communication and information sharing systems on which they depend; our operational support and expertise, which is available to them around the clock and on the ground; and our commitment to building their knowledge and capacities, from basic policing to specialized crimes. Where we can deploy these strengths in other areas or where we can innovate, we will,” said Mr Stock.
In this respect, the Head of INTERPOL also underlined Lyon’s strong network of embassies and consulates in helping the world police body fulfill its mission.
The audience heard how in the last 25 years, INTERPOL’s membership grew from 150 member countries to 190, establishing regional bureaus in Buenos Aires, Yaoundé, Abidjan, San Salvador, Nairobi, and Harare, as well as offices in Bangkok, Brussels and New York.
It was from its General Secretariat that in 2010 and 2012 INTERPOL coordinated Operation Infra-Red, which has led to the arrests of over 600 fugitives. INTERPOL’s recent Operation Infra Terra also focused on 139 fugitives in the area of environmental crime.
This year also saw the establishment of the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore to lead the international fight against cybercrime.