Police chiefs from 11 countries meet for conference in Opatija

OPATIJA, 14.5.2009.
Police chiefs and senior police officials from 11 countries and the Interpol General Secretariat met on Thursday in the northern Croatian Adriatic resort of Opatija for a two-day conference of police directors held ahead of the peak tourist season.

At the beginning of the conference, the fourth of that kind, memorandums on cooperation were signed to enable police officers from Austria, Slovakia, France, the Czech Republic and Hungary to stay and work in Croatia during the coming peak tourist season.

Also attending the conference were police officials from Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia and Montenegro.

Croatia's police director Vladimir Faber said the project of police cooperation in preparations for and during the tourist season had been going on for four years.

The importance of police cooperation is best evidenced by the satisfaction of tourists coming from the countries whose police officers work in Croatia during the main tourist season, Faber said.

By developing such police cooperation, Croatia is proving to be a desirable and safe destination, Faber said.

He added that Croatian police had agreed on cooperation with German police and that the two sides would sign an agreement at the Opatija conference to enable Croatian policemen to take part in providing for security at the Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany.

Expressing satisfaction with the attendance of Serbian police director Milorad Veljković, Faber said it proved that the two police forces were cooperating fully trusting one another, which he said would help bring to justice perpetrators of the gravest crimes.

Croatian Minister of the Interior Tomislav Karamarko said that some other European police forces had shown an interest in sending their members to provide for security in Croatia during the peak tourist season and that more countries were expected to join in the project as of next year.

Karamarko described the security situation during last year's tourist season as appropriate.

Karl Lesjak, Interpol Assistant Director of Crisis and Major Events, said that the Interpol General Secretariat fully supported the project.

He added that Interpol would help in the project by enabling access, via portable computers, to its databases, data on stolen or missing vehicles, or to personal documents.
The police conference in Opatija ends on Friday.