Bringing key INTERPOL players to the forefront of international policing

20 April 2016

Nothing illustrates the quality of a service more powerfully than the testimony of its users. With INTERPOL’s 12th annual Heads of National Central Bureau (NCB) conference coming up shortly, some Heads of NCB from around the world spoke to the General Secretariat about the value of the conference and how it contributes towards enhancing INTERPOL police support services.

This statutory annual meeting provides Heads of NCB in 190 countries with a platform to discuss crime issues and challenges and work towards identifying innovative ways of curbing crime through international police cooperation.  

Some of the voices that will be heard during this year’s conference include:


For NCBs to deliver fast and effective police services, they need a solid and trusted working relationship with all INTERPOL member countries.  The conference is a valuable forum for Heads of NCB to develop and nurture personal working relationships with their counterparts from across the globe. 

Although Bhutan has experienced a decline in crime since 2012 thanks to national crime prevention activities, the country is nonetheless witnessing an increased number of offences linked to illegal drugs and cybercrime.  The Royal Bhutan Police has a lot to learn from NCBs worldwide about how best to deal with the new threat this represents for effective law enforcement. 

INTERPOL’s annual Heads of NCB conference is a unique opportunity for NCB Thimphu to learn from other NCB experiences and to get guidance on methods used by police forces around the world to address these intrinsically transnational crimes which, whilst not necessarily complex in nature, are nonetheless tough to investigate in isolation. 

This year’s agenda will also give Bhutan the opportunity to better understand the databases and services provided to NCBs by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat, and to address specific issues with its staff during tailored round table meetings. 

In particular this year I am looking forward to learning more about INTERPOL’s future facial recognition system and other integrated border management systems. 

The annual Heads of NCB meeting is an important platform for each of INTERPOL’s 190 NCBs and their parent police agencies, as it gives NCBs an opportunity to discuss police cooperation, priorities and initiatives at global level.  Bhutan looks forward to being updated on the current international crime scene  and how it will impact our own policing activities and national security.


The role of the modern-day INTERPOL NCB is becoming more and more demanding as crime evolves and becomes increasingly complex, transnational and virtual in nature.With this in mind, INTERPOL is currently carrying out a comprehensive review process – called INTERPOL 2020 – to identify the true policing needs of the international law enforcement community and to strengthen the role of the INTERPOL General Secretariat in providing NCBs and their police forces with the tools they really need to effectively fight crime.

INTERPOL NCBs are the critical nexus through which international police cooperation is steered and we are well positioned to communicate current and future needs of the international policing community to the General Secretariat.  This year’s Heads of NCB meeting will give countries an important opportunity to conceptualize the path we NCB Heads feel INTERPOL should be taking into the future.

Law enforcement organizations must be on the cutting edge of innovation to stay one-step ahead of criminals. This year’s meeting is a valuable opportunity for us to collectively and individually express our views as to which INTERPOL tools and services are really needed to make the international law enforcement community more effective, and which ones have yet to be devised.

In Canada, law enforcement is seeing the emergence of cybercrime and its far reaching effects on our established priorities. Terrorism is a stark reality for every NCB and police force. We must look down the road, developing tools to counter it and methods to prevent it at its earliest stages, whether it be in the field of organized crime, counter terrorism, crimes against children, fugitives, drugs or financial crime.

INTERPOL Ottawa welcomes the opportunity to provide input at this year’s Heads of NCB meeting. It will give us an exclusive opportunity to talk with our police partners from all continents, and work together to leverage methods to disrupt cybercrime, organized crime, and terrorism. The connections made and the discussions held will serve to reinforce the INTERPOL vision of  ‘Connecting police for a safer world’.


Although many people consider Jordan to be one of the safest countries in the Middle East, we still have significant challenges as it relates to terrorism and crime.   With my country surrounded by conflict zones and in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, NCB Amman has a critical role to play in making sure Jordan is never attractive to terrorist and criminal organizations wanting to carry out their criminal acts.

The fact that criminals can turn technological innovation to their advantage means that police forces worldwide must rethink their action. By bringing together the Heads of NCB from all regions in this creative forum for dialogue, we can gain new insight into methods for containing crime and terrorism and, hand-in-hand, safeguarding security at the national, regional and consequently international levels.

Police forces need to be innovative in addressing the threat of transnational crime and ever-evolving forms of terrorism.  The ability of NCBs to adapt continuously to complex and evolving situations occurring on the global scale is the key to successful law enforcement, no matter the region or continent.  This year’s Heads of NCB conference will enable NCB chiefs from all continents to put our heads together and devise new strategies to better address our challenges.

I will share the outcomes of this year’s Heads of NCB meeting with  Jordan’s national police – the Public Security Directorate – so that it can strengthen the way it addresses current and emerging threats to the security of my country and region.    No country can address these challenges alone.  It is only with the cooperation of my fellow NCB Heads, and the support provided by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat, that Jordan can successfully address crime issues related to the Middle East. 

I look forward to addressing these transnational crime challenges with my NCB counterparts at the forthcoming Heads of NCB meeting.


Whilst INTERPOL’s General Assembly is where strategic decisions are made, the Heads of NCB meeting is where General Assembly decisions are spun into action.    We need this venue to discuss with our counterparts not only how best to do this, but to also talk about current challenges and identify solutions together.

The uniqueness of our Heads of NCB meeting lies in its valuable opportunity to meet our counterparts face to face ‘from the other side of the monitor’.  Given that most of our daily collaborative work happens from behind a screen, I am convinced this personal contact between Heads of NCB, often from very different regions and cultures, is crucial to effective international police cooperation.

What sets INTERPOL apart from other intergovernmental organizations is its unique NCB network.  NCBs in different countries have different structures, capabilities, authority and are subordinated to different agencies. But they all have one common responsibility: to make sure that national law enforcement agencies are making good use of INTERPOL tools and services in combating transnational crime.   We must not underestimate the challenge this represents to Heads of NCB, and the power of this annual conference in collectively addressing the challenge.

Having worked in the sphere of international police cooperation for a long time, I can say with certainty that it is only through joining hands that police officers around the world can fight transnational crime successfully in the modern world.    

The international community is facing new and serious challenges to global security. In my view, the most severe of them is terrorism, especially when it comes to foreign terrorist fighters.  But we should never underestimate the need to aggressively address organized cybercrime, new drug trafficking channels, illegal migrants and people smuggling that are all too frequently connected to these terrorist groups.  

As Head of INTERPOL Moscow, I use this unique event to discuss these police cooperation challenges and thank Russia’s working partners for valuable NCB police assistance provided over the past year. Holding working meetings with other NCBs to discuss specific cases in the sidelines of the conference has become a tradition for the Russian NCB.   I look forward to doing this again this year, and to working with my counterparts worldwide in collectively identifying methods for countering our shared challenges, with the support of the General Secretariat.


I firmly believe that this conference is the most important INTERPOL annual event for operational policing.  It gives the men and women in charge of the domestic contribution to international police cooperation a unique opportunity to discuss topics that have direct impact on police operations in 190 countries.  That is no small feat.

The INTERPOL General Secretariat, which is our headquarters body, tailors the agenda to our daily NCB activities and needs to help us make our NCBs as successful and efficient as possible.  This in turn works for the benefit of national, regional and international security.

The conference is an excellent opportunity to talk with counterparts from all around the world about specific NCB issues.  Ahead of time, I always arrange to meet with a selection of fellow Heads of NCB so that we can talk about the most important ongoing cases that are difficult to discuss in writing.  Over the years, this approach has helped us accelerate many investigations and put in place some difficult extraditions.

Besides speeding up certain operational cases at this year’s event, I am very interested to hear about other NCB experiences relating to the European migratory crisis. I will use this year’s meeting as an opportunity to explore how international experiences can help my police force better prevent illegal state border crossings, and curtail the organized crime they can generate.  It goes without saying that the heightened use of INTERPOL databases in the field will be central to these discussions.

Without a doubt, the Heads of NCB conference makes an important contribution to accomplishing our common crime-fighting goal and each year NCB Heads add an additional stone in the mosaic which makes INTERPOL more reliable, stronger and truly great.


The Zambia Police Force is confronted daily by the complexity and constant mutation of transnational crime.  Without access to INTERPOL services, we would be ill-prepared for preventing new crime forms from crawling into the everyday lives of the Zambian people, particularly as it relates to cyber-crime and its alliances with drug trafficking, trafficking in firearms, stolen motor vehicles and trafficking in counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

This year’s Heads of NCB meeting comes at a time when the world is struggling with a long series of challenges on the political, social and economic fronts.   In this kind of challenging climate, governments can be tempted to demote policing to the less expensive rank of ‘low priority’. Yet the police remains the first and last line of defence in sustaining the ailing fortunes of any country, hence the need for us to meet and strategize in gatherings of this nature.

Each year this event brings together NCB heads from all continents in a dedicated and friendly forum to address serious issues such as these, and to explore how our respective NCBs and police forces can help society tackle and overcome them.

These discussions – which are always very open and candid – serve to provide guidance to our General Secretariat headquarters in developing its core police services.  The needs and challenges of NCBs are aired unequivocally, with specific regional round table sessions to tailor discussions to our specific regional needs and in turn deliver national, regional and international answers.  

With INTERPOL’s General Secretariat currently conducting a worldwide series of consultations with member countries, this year’s meeting will serve to gather input from Heads of NCB on what we expect from the General Secretariat and what we feel INTERPOL priorities should be.

With the international crime landscape becoming so violent and complex, I am hopeful that this meeting will help us devise new approaches to address emerging crime.  Each and every one of our countries, big or small, has an important part to play in the fight against transnational crime. NCBs need each other every day: today, tomorrow and in the future.  Zambia has every faith in the INTERPOL General Secretariat’s ability to support us in making our police cooperation stronger, more meaningful and successful.