Closing ranks on emerging organized crime: INTERPOL to open new Caribbean office

2 September 2021

INTERPOL and the Government of Barbados have signed an agreement to open an INTERPOL liaison office aimed at strengthening Caribbean police cooperation and security.

Representing INTERPOL’s Secretary General, The Executive Director of INTERPOL Police Services Stephen Kavanagh signed the Host Country Agreement with Barbados’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Jerome Xavier Walcott on 1 September 2021.

The new office will be housed by CARICOM’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) at its Barbados-based Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC) in St Michael, and will serve CARICOM and the wider Caribbean.

The objective is to nurture police cooperation between each of the 25 Caribbean countries and territories and increase their use of INTERPOL policing capabilities in their national and regional investigations,

Officers seconded by a range of Caribbean Police forces, Intelligence agencies, Immigration, Customs and Defence Forces will staff the new liaison office and deliver INTERPOL operational support throughout the region, with a particular focus on capacity building and police operations.

Tailored to Caribbean needs

One of the fundamental aims of the liaison office is to provide the region with hands-on access to the police services required to tackle regional crime from a global angle.

It will deliver training courses across the region to ensure law enforcement is able to use INTERPOL’s global criminal databases and capabilities to their full capacity throughout investigations and border‐management operations.

With the Caribbean an archipelago of 7,000 often isolated islands located at the crossroads between the Americas, Europe and Africa, the liaison office will help countries work together across maritime and land borders in coordinating regional police operations.

“INTERPOL is honoured that CARICOM has provided us with this unique opportunity to support the Caribbean in its efforts to target transnational organized crime, protect its vulnerable communities, secure its cyber space and anticipate the threat of terrorism,” said INTERPOL’s Executive Director for Police Services

“The international characteristics of these crime areas and their links with organized crime groups around the world make the role of INTERPOL’s new liaison office in the Caribbean fundamental to maintaining national, regional and indeed global security,” added Mr Kavanagh.

CARICOM-IMPACS Executive Director Michael Jones stated that “this is a historic moment for CARICOM and the wider Caribbean. We have shared threats and challenges. The placement of this office in the Caribbean will certainly boost capacity in crime fighting and enhance already existing cooperative arrangements.”

INTERPOL’s Executive Director for Police Services also met with the Barbados Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Dale Marshall, and Wilfred Abrahams, Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, as well as Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith and senior police leadership.

The new liaison office will support law enforcement in Anguilla (UK), Antigua & Barbuda , Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados,  Belize, Bermuda (UK), British Virgin Islands (UK), Cayman Islands (UK), Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat (UK), Sint Maarten, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia , St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks and Caicos (UK)