Antigua and Barbuda celebrates 100 years of Interpol’s global security contributions

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By Elesha George

[email protected]

Law enforcement officers in Antigua and Barbuda joined 194 other countries on Thursday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol). The event, hosted at the John E St Luce Finance & Conference Center, marked a century of dedicated service and meaningful contributions to worldwide security by Interpol.

Established in 1923, Interpol has become the world’s largest international police organization, boasting a workforce of over 1,050 employees. Its primary mission is to offer investigative support and training to member countries, including Antigua and Barbuda.

Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney, Head of the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Antigua and Barbuda, expressed his gratitude for Interpol’s support over the years. He stated, “In many ways it has taught our local law enforcement officers learn how to work more effectively with the services they provide. We in Antigua and Barbuda have benefitted greatly from training opportunities and our officers are much more efficient because of the training received through Interpol,” Rodney said.

Jurgen Stock, Secretary-General of Interpol, emphasised the organisation’s ongoing commitment to the Caribbean region, affirming that policing in the Caribbean would remain a top priority on Interpol’s agenda. Earlier this year, Interpol established its Eastern Caribbean Office headquartered in Barbados. “Interpol is thankful to Caricom IMPACS for housing this platform which will serve the Caribbean as a whole. This brings Interpol closer to the challenges your officers face at the front lines and will enable us to tailor our support to those needs,” he said.

Secretary-General Stock also highlighted the evolving challenges faced by law enforcement in the digital era and the impacts of climate change, which have created new opportunities for criminal activity amid geopolitical tensions. However, he praised Interpol’s resilience and evolution in addressing these challenges, emphasising the organisation’s significant impact over the last century.

Antigua and Barbuda became an Interpol member in 1986 and has consistently contributed to the organisation’s mission. Several dedicated officers from Antigua and Barbuda were honoured during the celebration for their exceptional service to Interpol in the Caribbean region from 1986 to 2023. Among the awardees was Sir Wright F George, who served as the Commissioner of Police in 1986 and delivered the country’s acceptance speech at the General Assembly meeting held that October in Belgrade.

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