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Published:November 20th, 2007 14:30 EST
INTERPOL Fugitives Conference

INTERPOL Fugitives Conference

By SOP newswire

LYON, France - INTERPOL`s 4th International Conference on Fugitives opened today with more than 130 delegates from 57 countries meeting to discuss the role of technology in tracking fugitives and sex offenders.

Delegates will discuss the use of advances in technology such as surveillance and biometrics " using a person`s physical characteristics for computer identification " in identifying and locating wanted persons.

Tracking international sex offenders is also high on the agenda, and participants will learn about INTERPOL`s Operation Vico, which led to the identification and arrest in Thailand last month of Christopher Neil on sexual abuse charges.

Keynote speaker John Clark, Director of the United States Marshals Service, told delegates that only through global co-operation could results be achieved.

Criminal organizations take advantage of the fact that we have become a mobile society, and we as law enforcement must work together, share intelligence and information if we are to defeat these organizations so that civilized society can thrive, " said Mr Clark.

Tracking fugitives has always been at the core of the organization`s existence said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and is symbolic of an effective criminal justice system. INTERPOL will continue to exert all possible efforts to help its member countries bring serious crime offenders to justice.

We will assist our member countries in creating `International Fugitive Investigations Contact Points` within their National Central Bureaus. These contact points will deal with the international search requests and promote the international co-operation and mutual assistance necessary for the location and apprehension of international fugitives, " said Mr. Noble.

INTERPOL`s main tool for helping police in its 186 member countries to track fugitives is its Red Notice " an international wanted persons notice. There are currently more than 13,500 valid Red Notices, with an average of almost 2,000 issued annually. Police around the world report an average of almost 400 arrests each year based on INTERPOL Red Notices.

If we want to be ahead of criminals, strategically and logistically, we will need more pro-active co-operation from our member countries` forces, other international organizations and the general public than ever before, " the Secretary General added.

Delegates at the two-day meeting taking place at the General Secretariat in Lyon will also discuss the use of media in apprehending fugitives and be updated on the work of international tribunals and extradition issues.

Earlier this month, INTERPOL`s General Assembly approved a resolution enabling the organization to publish information to request the public`s assistance in child sex abuse investigations under extraordinary and exceptional circumstances.

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