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22 August 2013 - Media release

Innovation the way forward against tomorrow’s security threats, says INTERPOL Chief

SINGAPORE – INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble has underlined the role of innovation in combating transnational crime amid a changing globalized and interconnected world.

Speaking on Thursday at the International Relations Perspectives Seminar hosted by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Mr Noble said that nearly 100 years since the idea of INTERPOL was born in 1914, making the world a safer place meant drawing on newer ideas that could shape how countries work together against evolving criminal threats such as cybercrime.

“Looking at today’s world, it is easy to note how quickly technology has advanced to create a parallel, virtual landscape that is increasingly becoming pivotal for our daily lives, but also providing new opportunities for criminals to strike across borders with unprecedented speed and behind the clout of anonymity,” said the Head of INTERPOL.

With INTERPOL’s global databases searched one billion times by law enforcement worldwide in 2012, the audience heard that the reality of the 21st Century meant that ignoring the use of INTERPOL’s tools and services could be extremely costly for the safety of citizens in any of INTERPOL's 190 member countries; because ultimately, at the core of international law enforcement success lies the cooperation to ensure criminals do not evade justice.

“The world in which law enforcement operates is changing, and fast. Its cyber component is growing by the minute, and so are the opportunities offered to those who want to harm innocent lives and prey on our economies,” said Mr Noble.

To be effective in this changing environment, and drawing on Singapore’s leadership in law enforcement cooperation and culture of innovation and dynamism, in 2010 INTERPOL’s membership unanimously approved the creation of a new, state-of-the art INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore, dedicated to the fight against cybercrime and to next-generation capacity building for police globally.

With the IGCI representing a milestone in INTERPOL’s evolution, one of its objectives will be to help bridge the gaps in police capacities and legal regulations globally in dealing with cybercrime.

Secretary General Noble told the audience that cooperation amongst law enforcement agencies alone would not easily bridge these gaps. Given growing limitations on resources, Mr Noble said this was a daunting task to be undertaken by the public sector alone – hence INTERPOL’s initiatives in engaging with the private sector, with Kaspersky Labs, Trend Micro and NEC Corporation some of the partners which have joined INTERPOL in its fight against cybercrime.

“We believe that ‘innovating’ fittingly reflects the way forward in adapting to change: change in allocation of resources by governments, change in newer technologies, change in the way crimes are conducted – and even in the psyche of criminals when it comes to the web,” concluded Mr Noble.

Senior Singaporean officials attending the Seminar included Tan Tee How, Permanent Secretary, MHA; Khoo Boon Hui, Senior Deputy Secretary, MHA; Clarence Yeo, Commissioner, Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority; and Benny Oon, Senior Director, International Cooperation & Partnerships Division, MHA.