INTERPOL and challenge of global policing
By Monday Ijeh, Nigeria News Agency
International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) that came into existence in 1956 has the mandate to facilitate international police co-operation within the limits of existing laws in different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It was also established to develop institutions likely to contribute to the prevention and suppression of ordinary law crimes.
The INTERPOL, the world’s largest police organisation with 194 member countries, was expected to assist law enforcement agencies around the world in combating all forms of transnational crimes and terrorism.
Nigeria recently hosted the 2019 INTERPOL Week, the first since Nigeria became a member of the international police organisation in 1960.
The theme of the week was “ For a Safer World.’’
In attendance were National Central Bureau (NCB) focal officers from the 194 INTERPOL member countries and world security experts, security and safety agencies in Nigeria – NDLEA, EFCC, NIS, NCS, NAPTIP and NAFDAC.
Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police who spoke, said that the event was targeted at fine-tuning the existing working partnerships amongst security organisations within and outside Nigeria.
He said that the idea was to enhance the competence and capacities of the participants toward addressing the challenges of policing in the 21st century.
The I-G said the hosting of the event was in line with the Federal Government’s commitment towards driving global collaboration in addressing prevailing and emerging crimes.
Adamu pledged the commitment of the police to step up collaborative efforts in tackling border crimes, adding that new strategies and enduring partnerships were necessary to tackle security challenges.
“The signing of African Continental Free Trade Area agreement within the ECOWAS framework, will present new sets of security threats in the West African sub-region.
“In view of this, we need to step up our collaborative efforts, devise new strategies and build enduring partnerships to contain them.
“It is our expectation that this concern shall form part of our discourse during the 2019 INTERPOL Week,” he said.
He said the Nigeria INTERPOL National Central Bureau had maintained criminal databases in information processing and sharing.
“These include the I24/7 database which is currently being expanded under the Project Gemni, with support of the American Government and West African Police Information System (WAPIS) Criminal Data Base.
“These projects are supporting our efforts towards combating cybercrimes, drugs and human trafficking, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, armed robbery, car-jacking, fraud, environmental crimes, kidnapping for ransom, violent extremism, and terrorism,” he said.
Adamu called on participants to use the knowledge acquired to improve on their service delivery.
The I-G said that the presentations and discussions at the event were not only professionally and expertly delivered, but were also enriching.
He said the outcome of the event was measured, not only by the knowledge gained, but also by the strength of the professional networks established among and across the participating agencies and personalities.
Adamu said that the networks would assist participants to untilise the full tools of INTERPOL National Central Bureau towards attaining the mandates of the various participating agencies.
“This will enhance our common drive towards enhancing internal, regional and global security.
“As we end this event, we can all conveniently return to our duty posts with self confidence that we have been equipped with requisite knowledge to truly make the world a safe place.
“By this, we are aligning with the theme of the event and fulfilling the mission of INTERPOL in relation to preventing and fighting crimes through enhanced international police cooperation.
“As you go back to your various stations, therefore, I urge you to use the knowledge gained in this programme to make a difference in your various agencies,” he said.
Adamu pledged the commitment of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau to continue to maintain a positive disposition towards assisting all law enforcement agencies.
Adamu, who also spoke at the foundation laying ceremony of the ultramodern Nigerian Police INTERPOL National Central Bureau headquarters, said on completion, the workers would have a comfortable accommodation to do their work.
Mr Garuba Umar, the Head of NCB and Commissioner of Police in charge of INTERPOL Nigeria, said that policing was a global issue, while the INTERPOL connects law enforcement agencies globally, providing them with adequate tools to ease their work
According to him, such tools include the data, in terms of human trafficking, drug related issues, fugitives, fraud, murder, armed robbery and other criminal activities.
He said the major challenge militating the operation of INTERPOL in some countries was the difficulties in extraditing criminals.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi, who spoke, said that INTERPOL was the best agency to track criminal activities in view of its global outreach.
He said that the INTERPOL Week was initiated to bring to public attention, the organisation’s tools and resources to familiarise operatives with their usage.
Dingyadi described the hosting of the event in Nigeria as unique, being the first time the country would host the event.
According to him, crime is growing very sophisticated and transnational, with organised criminal groups committing crimes that touch multiple jurisdictions.
Dingyadi said Nigeria was facing series of security challenges, ranging from terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, trafficking in arms and other illicit activities.
Mr Obe Rudolf, the Managing Director, Nigeria Police Force Property Development and Construction Company (NPFPDCC) Limited, who spoke, said the project would serve as new abode for the INTERPOL.
Rudolf who is a commissioner of police, said the edifice initiated by the police management team, was funded through corporate social responsibility of some police investment units.
Rudolf said that the edifice was a signature project of the Nigeria Police Force, designed and to be built exclusively by technical personnel of the police.
He said the construction period, with timely availability and disbursement of funds would be 18 months.
Some participants at the INTERPOL Week commended the I-G for hosting the programme, adding that the experience gathered would enhance their service delivery.
The idea of International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) was conceived in 1914 at the first International Criminal Police Congress.
In 1923, the second International Criminal Police Congress laid the basis for the creation of the International Criminal Police Commission.
The constitution of the International Criminal Police Commission was unanimously adopted and the organisation assumed the name of INTERPOL at its 25th session in 1956.(Features)
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