LYON, France – Using INTERPOL’s global reach to help boost security across Europe was the focus of a meeting of between the European Union’s Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI), Europe’s Article 36 Committee (CATS) and senior officials from the world police body at its General Secretariat headquarters.
Discussions between the EU delegation, including representatives from both the current and incoming Presidencies – Greece and Italy, respectively – addressed a range of areas including increased use of INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database, both in contributing data and expanding access.
The delegation also included representatives from the EU Commission, the European External Action Service, Frontex, Cepol, Eurojust and Europol.
Another key issue was identifying ways in which the two agencies can work more closely together in supporting crime fighting across Africa, by improving capacity to tackle terrorism, cybercrime, maritime piracy, illegal migration and environmental crime.
Interoperability of information systems was also on the agenda, in particular looking at ways INTERPOL’s Illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS) could be aligned with EU databases.
iARMS is a state-of-the art tool that facilitates information exchange and investigative cooperation between law enforcement agencies in relation to the international movement of illicit firearms, as well as licit firearms involved in the commission of a crime.
Previously mentioned in the Stockholm Programme (2009 - 2014) as an important partner for strengthening both the internal and external security of Europe, INTERPOL’s key role is again being cited under the Strategic guidelines of the European Union for 2015 to 2020.
The EU delegation was also briefed about INTERPOL’s Turn Back Crime campaign, to highlight the dangers of organized and other forms of crime and their impact on everyday life.
Ducati is the latest internationally renowned name to support the Turn Back Crime campaign, joining the first Ambassador film star Jackie Chan, along with Argentina captain, FC Barcelona striker and the first four-time consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, Lionel Messi.
The campaign, which has also been presented to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis, aims to develop awareness of other crime areas such as trafficking in human beings, counterfeiting, illicit goods and environmental crime.