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23 October 2002 - Media release

New global communications project highest priority for INTERPOL

A new internet-based global communications system - for a more rapid and more secure exchange of critical crime data between the world's police agencies - is one of 'new' INTERPOL's highest priorities, Stanley Morris, INTERPOL's Director of Cabinet, yesterday told the worldwide criminal police organisation's general assembly meeting this week in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The I-24/7 Global Communications System is 'not a plan or something that is going to happen. It is happening now,' Mr Morris said.

The new system is already being used by Poland, Germany, France, Canada, Azerbaijan, Mexico, Australia, and through Australia by eight other INTERPOL member countries in the South Pacific.

The system has been set up in response to Secretary General Ronald K. Noble's requirement for a fast, easy-to-use database that is flexible enough to grow with INTERPOL. In his opening speech to the general assembly, Mr Noble told delegates that by the close of this week's general assembly, 17 member countries would have the system 'on line', with a total of 40 due to be linked up by the end of this year. The goal was to have all INTERPOL members connected to the system as soon as possible, he said.

The I-24/7 system will give users rapid access to a vast store of information, for example photographs, a digital fingerprint library and by next year also a DNA profile database. The new system is considerably more secure than INTERPOL's current criminal police communications system, Peter J. Nevitt, the organisation's IT director, explained to general assembly delegates.