WAPIS, one of the components of the Cocaine Route Programme has launched the first electronic police information system in Mali as well as in Benin and Niger. The launch was attended by Mali’s Interior Minister, Général Sada Samaké, who emphasized its ‘internal security role’. Funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by INTERPOL with the collaboration of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) facilitates the collection, centralization, management, sharing and analysis of police information emanating from all relevant national law enforcement agencies. The system is installed within a national Data Collection and Registration Centre (DACORE) and allows participating countries to convert existing paper-based police data into a digital format so it can be inserted, together with new police data, into the national WAPIS system and easily shared among law enforcement agencies. It allows for international collaboration and enhances the capacity of West African police when responding to rug trafficking, human smuggling and terrorism.
The system has already been inauguarated in Niger and Benin and will be launched in Ghana on 29th of September. It is expected that the General Annual Assembly of the Western African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) will endorse the full roll-out of the WAPIS Programme to all 15 ECOWAS Member States. It would mean that a regional electronic police information sharing platform will be developed under the aegis of ECOWAS to enable countries to share police data across West Africa.
“Police work is skills plus information. The daily creation of electronic police data and its central management will significantly increase the capacity of law enforcement agencies in West Africa to combat organized crime and terrorism,” said Oliver Bertrand, Head of the WAPIS Programme at INTERPOL.
WAPIS launch in Mali on TV News, 18 sept 2015