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For the past twenty years the Slovenian Police have been actively involved in the fight against international crime within the framework of the largest international police organization INTERPOL, which plays a significant role in the provision of global security. In order to celebrate 20 years of INTERPOL membership, 61st session of the INTERPOL European Committee was held on 12 and 13 September in Bohinj, which was attended also by the Interpol Secretary General, Mr Ronald K. Noble, Minister of the Interior, Dr Vinko Gorenak, and Deputy Director General of the Slovenian Police, Mr Karol Turk, M.A.

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Cooperation of the Slovenian Police and Interpol in various areas of crime, such as sexual abuse of children, wanted persons, stolen objects and the project of integration of Interpol's databases into Slovenian police databases, as well as enhanced cooperation at the level of the European Union, provide evidence that the Slovenian Police are a reliable partner of the international community in the fight against all forms of serious crime, and that they contribute to the professional addressing of security issues in the region.

The meeting, which was attended by members of the committee, designated representatives of Interpol, Slovenian Police and foreign police forces, was opened by Deputy Director General of the Slovenian Police, Mr Karol Turk, M.A., Minister of the Interior, Dr Vinko Gorenak, and Interpol Secretary General, Mr Ronald K. Noble. Visit of the Interpol Chief came as a special recognition for the Slovenian Police for their past cooperation with Interpol.

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As Minister of the Interior, Dr Vinko Gorenak, said during the opening statements of the meeting, the past cooperation between Slovenia and Interpol has proved that also small countries can make a significant contribution to maintaining international peace and security. "Eradicating international criminal groups is no longer a problem of individual countries, but it requires a coordinated and a trust-based approach of various competent institutions from different countries. The current economic situation, especially in Europe, deeply cut in the funds, which countries intended to spend for the operation of law enforcement authorities. However, when we speak about the efficiency of combating organized international crime this should not be the reason for pessimism. The existing mechanisms enable a highly effective networking of professionals at the global level. They enable exchange of experiences, good practices and information, which are a prerequisite for a successful prosecution of international criminal groups," added Gorenak.

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The police exchange approximately 80.000 pieces of information with Interpol each year. As emphasized by Deputy Director General of the Slovenian Police, Mr Karol Turk, M.A., in his public statement, 11 persons were found during last year on the basis of Interpol arrest warrants, and 55 persons are still wanted. "Integration of Interpol databases into our national police system in 2009 is considered as a major milestone in the cooperation between the Slovenian Police and Interpol. By doing so, Slovenian police officers were given the opportunity to simultaneously check data in the national police system, in the Schengen information system (SIS) and in the Interpol database on wanted persons, stolen vehicles and stolen and lost travel documents by making only one single query. With the joint use of different systems, we have become much more effective, and at the same time, our method of integration became a model also for other countries," stated Turk, who also complimented the cooperation with Interpol.

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Secretary General of Interpol, Ronald K. Noble, praised the work of the Slovenian Police and their proactive approach in preventing and detecting crime. "This is Slovenia's 20th anniversary in Interpol, and of these twenty years, twelve of these years I have been Secretary General, so I know the work of the police of Slovenia very well. I have to emphasize that Slovenia is a leader among Interpol members in terms of innovation, aggression and integration. Slovenia is also a leader in terms of searching the names of people, as well as vehicles and documents in the Interpol databases," stressed Mr Noble in his statement.

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During the two-day meeting, which was conducted by the Chairman of the Interpol European Committee, Borut Selan, from the Criminal Police Directorate, they discussed the preparation of the Interpol Strategy for the European Region for 2014-2016, and special attention was paid to cooperation between Interpol organization and Europol agency, as well as to activities of Interpol at the level of the European Union.

Interpol European Committee, which consists of eight members - representatives of National Central Bureaus from Hungary, Estonia, Italy, Moldova, Sweden, France, Slovakia and Slovenia, provides recommendations to the European Regional Conference as the highest governing body of Interpol in the European region, and it is responsible for discussing strategies and policies, arising from the cooperation in the fight against crime in the European region. Membership of the Slovenian Police in the mentioned Committee, in which the Slovenian Police represent the interests of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia, is a great honour and recognition, and thereby the Slovenian Police is also directly involved in reaching all important decisions on the international police cooperation in the framework of Interpol in the European region and beyond.

Besides the mentioned meeting, also two bilateral meetings took place between Deputy Director General of the Slovenian Police and the Minister of the Interior with Secretary General of Interpol, who also visited the headquarters of the Criminal Police Directorate.