Saturday, August 13, 2022

INTERPOL Opens Liaison Office In The Caribbean

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The International Police Organization (INTERPOL) Wednesday opened a liaison office for the Caribbean in Barbados, promising to bring an international network that would help Caribbean countries in their crime fighting efforts.

“The reality is that in my time of policing the world has changed…and now digital footprints, data, are the ways that we will understand whether it is drug dealers, whether it is organised criminals, where those money launderers and child abusers are sitting,” said the INTERPOL executive director of Police Services, Stephen Kavanagh.

“We have the data to connect Barbados to Korea, from Korea to South Africa and that’s a unique opportunity and it’s an exciting one for the Royal Barbados Police Force and we want to help them be the very best and link into the Caribbean,” he added.

“We have data sets around firearms, we support around huge drug importation and movement of money as well and that data is all there to support investigations in Barbados and the wider partnership,” Kavanagh said.

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“The reality is that whether you are the United States, UK, Barbados or China, you can’t have relationships with every country across the world, you can’t afford to. The great thing that INTERPOL can bring is that network…

“It allows us to stop trying to duplicate the training that takes place. So, whether it’s the emerging cybercrimes that are taking place countries don’t need to replicate and develop their own training now. What they can do is use the global academy at Interpol,” Kavanagh said.

Barbados Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Dr Jerome Walcott, who signed the agreement with Kavanagh, said that the liaison office for the Caribbean region represents a commitment made by INTERPOL in 2013, to develop collaborative efforts with the Caricom Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).

“The office will develop collaborative efforts throughout Caricom IMPACS, to underpin national and regional efforts, to screen incoming passengers against INTERPOL stolen and lost travel documents and other databases in light of the limited human and material resources available in the region for this purpose,” he said, adding there would be increased opportunities to use INTERPOL to improve policing capabilities and develop training and capacity building for areas of crime.

“The INTERPOL Liaison Office will collaborate closely with Caricom IMPACS in support of law enforcement investigations, border management operations, screening of travel documents and will see training of regional security personnel on INTERPOL’s systems, processes, and capabilities,” he said.

Walcott said the liaison office will support the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) member states as well as the five Caricom associate members of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. The office will also service Aruba, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Puerto and Dutch St Maarten. It will also complement Interpol’s Liaison Offices in Thailand and Austria.

Walcott lauded the fact that Interpol’s technical support would be made available to the Royal Barbados Police Force pointing to areas such as cyber security and artificial intelligence, which he said were at an “embryonic stage” in Barbados.

“This will open a new area in terms of training, in terms of technical support, a new approach in terms of the new type of crime that you are dealing with.

“Traditionally in Barbados and throughout the region crime was just investigated; murder, burglaries, fraud, etc, but crime has now reached a new level not only using technology in terms of communication but criminals can sit in Barbados and operate a network utilising technology on the other side of the world, so this certainly helps the police in terms of building their strength, the capacity, the resources, to utilise the technology that is available in the databases,” Walcott said.

Headline photo: Internet stock image

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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