ECOWAS, Interpol to conduct training on uniform standards for crime statistics usage17 Sep, 2018
Abuja, 14th September 2018. The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) are to conduct training of National Focal Points on uniform standards for gathering, reporting and sharing of crime statistics.
This is part of the outcomes of the Two-Day West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) technical sub-committee meeting on training and coordination which ended on the 13th of September 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Following the meeting, INTERPOL and the ECOWAS Commission are also to continuously support joint training and operations for Law Enforcement Agents, taking gender into consideration.
On their part, Member States will be required to submit quarterly report on crime statistics to the ECOWAS Commission through the Permanent Secretariat of WAPCCO while participants from Member States are to serve as primary or secondary focal points to ensure, support and coordination of crime statistics report to WAPCCO Secretariat.
Other recommendations emanating from the meeting include the nod given to the ECOWAS Commission to “promote harmonization of legislation, complementary legal and regulatory frameworks to enable joint police operations on Transnational Organised Crime (TOC) be conducted smoothly”
Member States were also urged to utilize available platforms for information sharing including the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) and INTERPOL. They are to strengthen land, maritime, and air border security to tackle crime effectively while ensuring that all cars receive INTERPOL clearance certificate.
The INTERPOL Regional Bureau was prevailed upon to promote the integration and use of INTERPOL’s criminal databases with national crime systems and strengthen links between National Central Bureaus (NCBs) and all Law Enforcement Agents.
Broadly, the police chief urged ECOWAS to strengthen regional police cooperation through WAPCCO and ensure budgetary allocation for annual meetings of WAPCCO and its Sub-Committees. This is in addition to strengthening interregional cooperation between WAPCCO and the Central African Police Chiefs Committee (CAPCCO) in combating TOC.
The ECOWAS Commission was further urged to send crime statistics template to Member States for reporting while it will in conjunction with the INTERPOL, organize joint operations on drug control among The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.
Participants also took a critical look at crime statistics reporting format and modalities for regional joint police operations
In his closing remarks, the Head, INTERPOL Regional Bureau Mr. Kedji Marcellin Abbe thanked participants for their valuable contributions and reiterated that the outcomes and recommendations of the meeting will be submitted to WAPCCO.
ECOWAS Commission’s senior officials thanked participants for their patience and frankness in discussions. The same sentiments were retained by the Chair of WAPCCO Technical Sub-Committee on Training and Operations DCP Lanre Bankole.
The police chiefs had gathered to explore ways of fostering cooperation among police officers specialized in Training and Operations from Member States with a view to reinforcing regional capacities to effectively combat transnational organized crime.
Apart from electing their bureau, the participants took note of the presentation of Status of Implementation of Previous Sub-Committee’s Report as well as the Presentation of Country Crime Statistics and Reports.
Member States also reported on crime trends and noted areas with increasing or decreasing crime statistics and the reasons for such trends. Challenges, achievements and suggestions for improvement were proffered.