Ladies and gentlemen.
It gives me pleasure to welcome you to Iceland and to open this conference.
Crime and the different types of criminality that Icelandic law enforcement is faced with has changed quite drastically in the last 10 to 15 years, as it has become more structured and organised, thus leading to ever more complex criminal investigations.
Concurrently with these developments, law enforcement has put an increased emphasis on measures to combat organised crime. Extensive anti-money laundering actions taken by authorities, along with enhanced asset recovery schemes at the police level, have been a recent major contributor in that effort.
Another vital factor to consider in this regard is the ever-growing need for increased co-operation and information sharing within law enforcement, not only on a case-by-case basis but also by strengthening the joint efforts of all police forces.
A certain milestone was recently achieved with the establishment of a formal Police Council. The council is a platform for all police commissioners, headed by the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, to co-ordinate policy, strategy and any other issue confronting Icelandic law enforcement. Hence, the Police Council is expected to have a leading role in determining and coordinating action and policy in the fight against organised crime.
An indispensable tool in that fight is also the extent to which police is authorised and able to gather information for subsequent analysis. With such systematic analysis of information law enforcement authorities become so much more equipped for decision-making and prioritizing resources.
By focusing more on such intelligence led policing will not only enhance the quality of investigations but also strengthen and increase the efficiency of preventative measures within law enforcement.
The metropolitan police and the Akureyri Police have now taken the initiative in these matters by hosting this two day work-shop under the guidance of OSCE, an institution that has been a leading authority in promoting and encouraging police forces in Europe to adopt intelligence led policing in their operation.
It is also a pleasure to note, that OSCE‘s representative at the conference, Mr. Arnar Jensson, is the one of the institution’s leading expert in this field of law enforcement. Mr. Jenson was a superintendent at the National Police Commissioner for many years and was also the first permanent representative at Europol for Iceland.
Lastly, I would like to extend my gratitude, on behalf of the Icelandic government, to the Metropolitan Police and the Akureyri Police for organising this event as well as to the Norwegian ambassador for the assistance of Norwegian authorities in the hosting of the conference.