Addressing Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) police chiefs, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock outlined a range of initiatives developed by the world police body to boost co-operation across the region and beyond.
Launched in March, the I-ONE project will see modernisation of 31 National Central Bureaux (NCBs) throughout Africa, nine in Southern Africa. The NCBs will have new equipment so they can better use Interpol police services and capabilities.
The project will see frontline police at airports, seaports and land border crossings have access to Interpol’s secure global police communications network, I-24/7. This will enable officers to check vital police information in Interpol databases, meaning they can instantaneously detect criminals or criminal activity.
The Interpol Chief underlined the organisation’s ongoing commitment to supporting cross-border operations, such as the Usalama series jointly led by the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation (EAPCCO) and the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation (SARPCCO).
Targeting transnational crimes including human, drug and arms trafficking, people smuggling, terrorism, car theft and environmental crime, since 2013 Usalama operations has seen thousands of arrests across Eastern and Southern Africa.
“It is this strength of regional and international police co-operation which will help devise the global security architecture of the future,” Secretary General Stock told the SADC meeting.
He also pointed to the organisation’s role in Project ENACT: enhancing Africa’s capacity to respond more effectively to transnational organised crime.
Implemented under the umbrella of the European Union (EU) Pan-African Programme, the three-year project (2017-2019) works to tackle the impact of transnational organised crime on development, governance, security and the rule of law in Africa.
Interpol’s role is to assist police in Africa to adopt proactive strategies to combat organised crime threats, facilitate information exchange and improve their investigative skills. Key elements include; criminal analysis training and mentoring; providing equipment to targeted countries to set up analytical units; creating a secure analysis platform; and bringing together heads of analytical units across Africa.
The ENACT project is funded by the EU and implemented by Interpol and the Institute for Security Studies, in partnership with the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime. It is the first development-focused project covering the entire African continent according to the international police organisation.