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08 March 2017

INTERPOL National Central Bureaus essential in enhancing global security

LYON, France – Ensuring vital global policing data is in the hands of frontline officers is one of the key issues on the agenda at the INTERPOL Heads of National Central Bureau (NCBs) conference this week.

As the conduit through which national police can access INTERPOL’s range of global databases, NCBs have an essential role to play as part of an international law enforcement platform for collaboration and operational support.

The need for increased sharing of biometric data, including fingerprints, DNA and facial recognition, as well as enhanced use of INTERPOL’s firearms tracing and ballistic data sharing capabilities, will also be addressed during the three-day (7 – 9 March) meeting, which brings together some 270 police officials from 149 countries.

“National Central Bureaus are a fundamental force of INTERPOL, acting as a bridge between the Organization and national police forces and as a main channel to deliver our core activities,” said INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei.

“As a unique international policing cooperation organization, INTERPOL should not only be an actor which fights against transnational crimes but also a defender for the rule of law and for humanity’s common interest,” added President Meng. “As the Organization continues to develop and strengthen its core activities, reinforcing the development of NCBs is a guiding principle in this process.”

Significant results have been seen around the globe where national law enforcement is directly linked to INTERPOL’s global databases. Just 48 hours after Austrian police linked its national network to INTERPOL’s global information system, a routine passport check led to the identification and arrest of an international fugitive wanted by Croatia.

“At a time in which terrorist mobility has become a serious challenge for police, providing local officers with global data is of the utmost importance,” said Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

“By collaborating and exchanging information with the wider police community through INTERPOL, we must recognize that we do not only protect our own country but also that of our neighbour. And in today’s ultra-connected world, this neighbour is more likely to be thousands of miles away,” added Mr Stock.

Secretary General Stock said expanded access to INTERPOL’s global databases meant countries could conduct systematic screening of people at border control points, and also lead to better investigative results.

Mr Stock pointed to the conviction earlier this year of the ringleader of a child sex abuse network in Japan following information exchanged via INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database. The ICSE database has so far helped investigators around the world identify and rescue more than 10,000 victims of child sexual abuse.

Aimed at strengthening border controls across West Africa, the INTERPOL-led Operation Adwenpa II resulted in the arrest of human traffickers, migrant smugglers and the seizure of drugs, stolen vehicles, cash and counterfeit goods. Seven children aged between 11 and 16 years were also taken into protective custody with two men arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.