The European Police Organisation (Europol) has pledged to support the newly created African Police body, Afripol, to build its structures to effectively deal with emerging and challenging security threats.
Michel Quill, the Deputy Director of Operations at Europol, made the pledge at the end of the two-day third Sub-Saharan International Association of Chiefs of Police, Africa executive policing conference in Kigali yesterday.
The conference was held under the theme: “Contemporary policing for a safer world.”
“The creation of Afripol is a welcome idea. We are ready to support you to move quickly,” Quill said.
The formation of Afripol, an idea fronted by Rwanda, was adopted by African Police Chiefs during their meeting in Algiers, Algeria in February.
The new continental Police body which awaits approval of heads of state aims at foiling security threats like terrorism, human and drug trafficking and cybercrime, among others.
Rwanda’s enthusiasm to unite regional and international Police forces earned her a vote of confidence to host regional centres of excellence like the Police Senior Command and Staff College, Peace Support Operations Training Centre and motor-vehicle Mechanical Inspection Centre (MIC) and the continental anti-gender-based violence secretariat (AFSOCCA-VAWG).
“For Europol to be more effective, support from African Police forces is critical to combat organised crimes like human trafficking,” Quill added.
He said joint operations are important and Europol is open to working with the world.
Prof. Dr. Jurgen Stock, the vice-president of Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) of Germany, said cybercrime is a major threat to security, which can only be addressed through cooperation among regional and international policing organs.
“Terrorists use IT to communicate and disseminate propaganda and technology is the solution for law enforcement agencies to effectively fight these threats,” Prof. Stock said.
“The fast development of technology, therefore, requires us to cooperate in our regional and international frameworks to have enough technical equipment and experts for proper investigations,” he added.
Jonathan Johnson, the Deputy Inspector General of Nigeria Police force said there are still loopholes in the legal instruments to promote inter-state cooperation on criminals and defence issues.
Jonathan also noted that states are still crippled by corruption, lack of data on criminals like fingerprints, passport numbers and names.
“Some countries are yet to sign important treaties and where they did, implementation is still weak. We need to harmonise our mutual legal assistance, extradition and transfer of criminals and invest in training, information exchange and capacity building to leave no room for criminals and terrorists to roam in one country and harm others in a neighbouring state,” Jonathan explained.