18 Jun 2004

Forum members endorse regional efforts to combat crime

3:35 pm on 18 June 2004

The Pacific Islands Forum says Pacific countries are to increase their efforts to combat transnational organised crime, by combining their resources and sharing more information on security and law enforcement issues.

The Secretary General Greg Urwin says they need to urgently update their legislation, not only to comply with international security requirements, but also to counter the way that criminal elements are exploiting loopholes in the law.

Mr Urwin, speaking at a meeting of the Forum Security Committee, says model legislation is available that can be adapted to suit individual Pacific Islands Forum countries.

And, he says it is equally important that better equipment and more training in special skills are provided to keep up with the way that criminal and corrupt elements are evolving their activities.

Forum members were also encouraged to tighten up their procedures for verifying someone's identity for the issue of citizenship documents and passports.

The meeting agreed that the failure to comply with international transport security measures could pose serious risks to the region's trade and tourism industries.