Delegates attend Interpol's African regional meeting

Delegates from Interpol said on Thursday at the Interpol African Regional Conference in Oran, Algeria that building national capacity is the key to security.

During the conference, delegates from Member States were briefed about keys to enhancing security. Interpol officials said the key to making enhanced security a reality is increased capacity building and increased policing information exchange at the national and regional levels.

"We now need to ensure that our discussions are constructive in ensuring the security of the peoples of Africa," Adamu Mohammed, the chairman of the conference and Interpol vice president for Africa, said. "This means greater collaboration between NCBs and specialized law enforcement agencies to exchange information and populate Interpol's databases with greater frequency."

Recommendations were also endorsed during the meetings, some of which will be included in the African region's strategic plan for 2014 - 2016. The plan includes expanding the use of I-24/7, which is Interpol's unique police communications system.

"Today the I-24/7 communications system still remains the most secure tool for connecting police forces internationally, and we must encourage and support its expansion to other law enforcement agencies so that they too can become more involved in combating transnational crime," Mohammed said.

Other key measures of the conference included strengthening border security, encouraging National Central Bureaus to provide data on known lost, stolen, trafficked or smuggled firearms and improving the fight against illicit transnational trafficking in drugs and precursors in the region by obtaining wanted information from NCBs.