Actions taken to fight transnational crime
From all over the world delegates, keynote speakers and law enforcement agencies came to Panama City, Panama for this year’s 38th Annual Crime Stoppers International Conference. Crimes such as illicit trade, counterfeit goods, intellectual property rights and human trafficking were the areas of focus.
The main goal of the conference was to provide participants with information on new crime trends, marketing strategies and on best practices through inspirational sessions. Another objective was to engage with regional Police and Customs authorities as well as the business community to further explore ways of working together. Lastly, the conference was meant to provide participants with a platform for networking and sharing their experiences.
The conference, organized by Crime Stoppers International in close cooperation with Caribbean, Bermuda and Latin America Crime Stoppers, was a resounding success in every way. Not only did it facilitate greater engagement and cooperation with local and regional law enforcement agencies like the Guatemalan and El Salvadorian police and the Jamaican and Panama Customs, it also attracted various other important international participants such as UNODC, US Federal agencies such as the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, Customs & Border Protection, and the FBI. In addition, representatives from Belgian Customs and Spanish National Police also attended the conference as well as international organizations such as the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade.
Cross-section of the audience at the opening ceremony
Sharing valuable information
The conference organisers were able to put together a cadre of speakers who are all experts in their fields. Throughout the three busy days, these experts provided inspirational sessions on an array of different topics ranging from insights on new trends to new ways of using marketing tools for fighting crime. FBI’s Steven Shapiro spoke about the growing number of crimes involving counterfeit goods and intellectual property rights whilst Nicolas Otte, Director of Illicit Trade Strategies and Prevention for Philip Morris International, Latin America and Canada, shared his knowledge on fighting illicit trade and on working closely together with government agencies, international institutions and business partners.
Working closely together
One important take away that every speaker and participant agreed on, was that working closely together and sharing knowledge is key to fighting transnational crime. This point was underscored by CSI President, Bryan Roach in his remarks during the opening ceremony and further supported by Barb Bergin, Chairman of Crime Stoppers USA and Roger Critchell, Director of Operations of Crimestoppers UK in their presentations. It was also agreed that using the latest technology is not only necessary, but the only way forward. This view was reinforced in the presentation delivered by Nick Pailthorpe and members of UBER’s Security Outreach Team who were speakers at the conference.
Crime Stoppers Panama
The conference also provided a good platform for launching the latest Crime Stoppers programme in Panama, which is expected in November this year. During the conference, the first important step towards reaching this goal was taken by signing Letters of Intent between Crime Stoppers and the International Study Association (ISA), and the Panamanian Alliance Against Illicit Trade. Crime Stoppers International is working hard on broadening its network. More and more countries are joining the fight against crime by making it easier for their citizens to provide information on crime anonymously. Panama will be the latest addition to this growing network; which was also one of the reasons why the conference was held there this year.
Signing of a Letter of Intent between Crime Stoppers International and the International Study Association (ISA)
Right to left: Bryan Roach (President CSI), Enrique Lau Cortes (President ISA)
Next years’ conference
Looking back on a successful conference also means looking forward to the next one. Next year’s 39th Annual Crime Stoppers International Conference will be held in The Hague, the Netherlands. With this central location, Crime Stoppers International hopes to create a platform to further expand international collaborations with agencies, governmental and non-governmental organizations and companies. And to provide the growing number of Crime Stoppers programmes with valuable information and networking opportunities in combating the increasing threats of transnational crimes.
Want to see what else happened at this year’s conference?
Download the info guide here