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02 April 2014

Global police chiefs gather to build on foundations laid for a safer world

LYON, France – The pivotal role of INTERPOL’s National Central Bureaus (NCBs), innovation and collaboration across all sectors against current and future crime threats are the focus of the 10th INTERPOL annual Heads of NCBs Conference which opened today.

Meeting under the theme of ‘100 Years of International Police Cooperation: Celebrating the Role of NCBs’, some 300 delegates from 145 countries are focusing on the active role NCBs can play in enhancing the use of INTERPOL’s global tools and services, as well as on crime areas such as terrorism, human trafficking, cybercrime, illicit trade and environmental crime.

INTERPOL’s upcoming Turn Back Crime global awareness campaign was also presented on the first day of the conference. It aims to engage with all sectors of society, including the public, to highlight the role all can play in making the world safer.

“The criminal threats and activities which are the focus of our work during the conference call for a coordinated international response and require us to be flexible and innovative in our strategies, working methods and resources,” said INTERPOL President Mireille Ballestrazzi.

Describing NCBs as the ‘cornerstone’ of global security, President Ballestrazzi said the conference represented an ‘exceptional opportunity’ for police chiefs worldwide to find common solutions to help turn back crime.

The INTERPOL President said the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), opening later this year in Singapore, would address the need by global policing for innovation and to adapt to an evolving security landscape. The state-of-the-art IGCI will focus on cybercrime, capacity building and training.

“Cooperation with private sector partners is also an important factor. The knowledge, skills and creativity of these partners help to enhance our response to current threats while working on solutions for the future,” added President Ballestrazzi.

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that with NCBs representing ‘the lifeblood’ of the organization, “thanks to the true spirit of international law enforcement cooperation, together we have been able to accomplish many milestones.”

“Innovation has always been in the DNA of the organization,” said Secretary General Noble, pointing to how the embrace of information technology by the organization had notably led to the creation of INTERPOL’s I-24/7 secure global communications system, today linking all of INTERPOL’s 190 NCBs.

The conference delegates heard that soon after the September 11 attacks in 2001, INTERPOL created its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database. Today, the SLTD database includes more than 40 million records from 167 contributing countries. It was checked more than 800 million times in 2013, generating some 68,000 hits.

“There are still far too many countries that do not systematically consult our stolen and lost travel documents database prior to letting persons cross their borders. I am convinced that one day all countries will systematically consult SLTD because their citizens will demand it,” added Secretary General Noble.

In this respect, highlighting the plight of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 which two individuals boarded with stolen passports, the Head of INTERPOL pointed to the value of the Organization’s I-Checkit tool to fill the gaps created by ‘countries’ failure to consult SLTD’.
I-Checkit will enable the public and the private sector to detect and prevent illicit transactions, and identify the fraudulent use of travel documents.