Delegates from several Caribbean countries are in the Cayman Islands this week for a training session hosted by representatives from the Interpol agency.
The four-day conference, which began Monday at the Grand Marriott Beach Resort, is designed to train law enforcement in the region on accessing Interpol’s information systems and encourage cooperative schemes amongst police agencies.
Interpol is represented in some 188 countries across the world.
Press agencies were only allowed to attend the opening addresses of the conference.
‘If your countries are anything like this one, there’s no shortage of gossip, rumours, unsubstantiated allegations; what we here call the Marl Road,’ Governor Stuart Jack said. ‘At the same time, people who have genuine information are reluctant to offer it, as they fear retribution.’
‘Reliable intelligence systems are even more important in situations like this.’
Mr. Jack pointed out that most of those threats to public safety in the Cayman Islands come from outside the country’s borders by way of drugs and gun shipments to the jurisdiction.
‘These…by their very nature involve more than one country,’ he said. ‘They are international crimes.’
Police Commissioner David Baines said it was also important that law enforcement agencies from the Caribbean use the conference to build personal relationships to assist in cooperative crime-fighting measures.
‘The training provided…will help us to standardise how we obtain and record intelligence,’ Mr. Baines said, ‘and perhaps most importantly, how we exploit the opportunity that is presented by that intelligence to the best effect.’
Mr. Baines said he also hoped the training session would help reduce government bureaucracies which often hinder police in the gathering of information; a factor that he said criminals do not have to face.
‘The differences in legal requirements, and sanctions that often follow, can on occasion be bureaucratic,’ he said. ‘We as law enforcement officials are required to abide by it. Our procedures are often exploited…in order to avoid detection, prosecution or even to avoid extradition.’
Attending the conference were Interpol representatives from Europe, South America and the Caribbean region.
‘These courses that we conduct are aimed at our national central bureau staff and I-247 users…I-247 being the communications system that connects all 188 member countries to our databases,’ Amanda Chouteau Rose of Interpol told conference attendees. ‘The purpose of these courses is to improve the quality and volume of messages which are exchanged between our central bureaus and our member countries. The purpose is also to increase the amount of data that is entered.’
Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly told those attending the conference that more sophisticated information-gathering techniques should be pursued by law enforcement agencies, because the criminal element is getting more tech-savvy by the day.
‘There are major platforms through which persons in far corners of the globe can communicate volumes of data and plans with each other in just mere seconds,’ Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly said. ‘It is far easier now for criminals to move around. It is easier for them to pass information.’
‘No law, no act…is local anymore; we are indeed in the global village.’