International police cooperation has always been key to Czech national security. Since the birth of the Czech Republic in 1993, its national police force and INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) have played a central role in providing the law and order required for the young Czech economy, society, and tourism industry to blossom.
Testimony to the importance the Czech Republic places on international police cooperation is its rank as one of the top users and contributors to INTERPOL’s global databases. Law enforcement units across the country, including border control and airports, have direct access to INTERPOL’s criminal databases enabling them to identify potential criminals within seconds, illustrating how difficult it is for fugitives and criminals to operate in the Czech Republic.
Further demonstrating its commitment to regional and international law enforcement cooperation via INTERPOL, the Czech Republic will be hosting INTERPOL’s 44th European Regional Conference in the days to come, allowing senior law enforcement officials from across Europe to gather in Prague to review region-specific crime and security concerns through a global lens.
This annual statutory INTERPOL meeting will allow the 49 NCBs and one Sub-Bureau of Europe to strengthen regional strategies to tackle their security issues. Together they will determine how European police cooperation can overcome transnational crime issues relating to terrorism, border security and cybercrime, particularly in the wake of terrorist attacks in several European capitals over the past months and in the light of the current European migration crisis.
Major General Tomáš Tuhý, Police President of the Czech Republic, on the significance of INTERPOL’s strategic European police event:
The Czech Police force is pleased to be hosting this prestigious European policing meeting in its capital. Providing a unique platform for senior European police officials to discuss region‐specific crime and security concerns is something that brings great pride to my country and police force.
Whilst the Czech Police is capable of responding to localized, national threats on its own, our efforts are much more powerful and successful when we carry them out hand-in-hand with our regional police partners. European police forces are currently facing a multitude of severe and evolving crime threats across their territories, making a collective and synergistic police effort critical.
This year’s agenda is tailored to not only strengthening our day-to-day crime investigations, but also to enabling us to visualize and address new emerging threats effectively. Boosting our ability to address both known and unknown threats successfully is what makes INTERPOL’s European Regional Conference particularly important this year.
The European migration crisis is one such issue which has presented itself spontaneously at a time when few European countries were fully prepared for the security and crime issues it would generate.
Fortunately for the Czech Republic, because police officers nationwide have access to INTERPOL’s full range of criminal databases, we are able to identify potential criminals quickly and prevent their entry. Granting national police access to INTERPOL databases in all European countries will be addressed during the conference this week.
With this in mind, over the next few days my European counterparts and myself will seek to identify innovative solutions to overcome our collective policing challenges, particularly in efforts to disrupt the travel of criminals by using INTERPOL databases.
It is with great pleasure that the Czech Republic welcomes the 44th European Regional Conference in its capital this week , and I would like to thank INTERPOL for choosing Prague as the host city.
Colonel Miroslav Tichák, Head of INTERPOL Prague, on the significance of being a member of the world’s largest police organization - INTERPOL:
With almost a quarter of a century of INTERPOL membership, the Czech Republic is proud and ready to be organizing such a prestigious regional police event this year. INTERPOL Prague is pulling out all the stops to guarantee a fruitful and constructive event with long-lasting police results to benefit the European law enforcement community at large.
INTERPOL Prague is an important part of the Czech national police force, and has had a strong role in building a secure and strong young nation. The NCB’s connection with police forces across the globe has helped strengthen the Czech police force’s role as custodian of security and public order, contributing to economic development by providing a secure environment for investment, tourism, trade and the easy movement of goods and people.
Being a member of INTERPOL means that our Police force has at its fingertips state-of-the-art tools to track fugitives in Europe and the rest of the world, no matter where they try to hide. A large part of the work of INTERPOL Prague involves coordinating the location, arrest and extradition of criminals who wrongly believe they can escape justice by hiding in our country, or by using it as a transit country to escape to other destinations.
This week’s conference will provide European NCBs with a secure, unique platform to discuss these crime issues and challenges and work towards curbing them together through the use of INTERPOL’s notices, stolen and lost travel documents (SLTD) database and joint border control operations.
Šárka Havránková, Head of Czech International Police Cooperation, on tailoring policing to specific European needs:
As if to mark how far the Czech national police has come since the country was created in 1993, the Czech Republic is hosting INTERPOL’s prestigious European policing event in its capital just one month short of the 25th anniversary of our national police force.
Just as my country needed a clear vision of the future of national law enforcement when creating its police force more than two decades ago, this year’s European Regional Conference will give European countries an opportunity to reflect upon the path INTERPOL should be taking into the future.
INTERPOL is in the process of 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 police forces worldwide with the tools they really need to effectively fight crime.
This year’s INTERPOL European Regional Conference will also give European police forces a unique opportunity to take stock of the evolving crime landscape to better understand and tackle the challenges European police forces currently all face.
INTERPOL’s successes and achievements would not have been possible without European support and our collective belief in INTERPOL’s mission to create a safer Europe and world. The Czech Republic is particularly pleased to host this conference at a time when international cooperation has become vital to keeping Europe safe.