Tag Archives: The Hague

Europol hosts inaugural ‘Project Diamond’ Conference on jewellery theft and burglary

From Tuesday 17 January to Thursday 19 January, Europol hosted its first international conference on jewellery robbery and burglary under the banner ‘Project Diamond’. SaferGems – a joint initiative established by the British Security Industry Association, T.H. March Insurance Brokers and the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) – was invited to deliver a presentation at the event, which took place at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.

‘Project Diamond’ was initially created as a follow-up to ‘Project Pink Panther’, which was initiated by Interpol back in 2007 in an effort to assist law enforcement around the world in apprehending members of the international network of jewellery thieves that had originated from the Western Balkans.

Interpol’s project ended last year, and it was then decided that ‘Project Diamond’ would be more extensive in its focus, targeting criminal networks involved in jewellery robberies and burglaries from Europe as well as the Baltic Sea and Western Black Sea areas.

In attendance were over 70 experts from nearly all of the EU Member States, as well as other representatives from third parties from Europe, Asia and the Americas, including private jewellery and watch companies.


Intelligence officer Lee Henderson represented SaferGems, an initiative sponsored by the NAJ and T.H. March Insurance that co-ordinates data on jewellery crime and facilitates information sharing between jewellers, pawnbrokers and the police. At the event, Henderson delivered a presentation about the background of SaferGems, crime trends and statistics, the SaferGems Watch Register and the initiative’s success stories.

Positive support and feedback

“The presentation was very well received by the experts in attendance and raised many questions from the audience,” stated Henderson. “We also received positive support and feedback from our colleagues that attended on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service and the West Midlands Police.”

The project comes at a vital time, with the EU facing increased trends in jewellery robbery and burglaries. It has been reported by Europol that these criminals are becoming more violent in their tactics, using heavy vehicles in order to infiltrate jewellery stores and putting the lives of customers and staff at risk.

The aim of the conference was to harness the existing knowledge and expertise of attendees in order to discuss the best ways in which to fight this rising tide of crime.

Given the increased trends in jewellery robbery and burglaries, the conference came at a crucial time and provided SaferGems with an opportunity to share information and intelligence with police officers from the New York Police Department, The Garda, Federal Police Belgium, Organised Crime Finland and Antwerp Diamond District.

Henderson concluded: “As a result of our participation in the conference, law enforcement agencies from across the world are now more aware of the capabilities of the SaferGems initiative and the successes that it continues to have.”

*For more information on the SaferGems initiative visit: https://www.safergems.org.uk/

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Government minister urges crackdown on ‘free movement of serious criminals’

Karen Bradley – the Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime – has urged that more information on serious criminals must be shared across Europe in order to protect members of the public.

Bradley has also called for action to stop those responsible for crimes including murder, rape and child abuse from being able to cross national borders either to escape justice or prey on new victims.

Speaking to delegates at a conference in The Hague, the UK MP explained: “We must all face up to the fact that, while free movement is seen by many in Europe as having only positive impacts, there are some very clear negatives – not least of which is the ability for criminals to exploit this freedom of movement and further their own illegal activities across borders.”

Bradley continued: “If we’re to tackle this problem properly then the free movement of information needed to combat criminality must work as effectively – and, ideally, more effectively – than the free movement of criminals.”

Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals Project

The minister told the final meeting of the UK-led Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals (SOMEC) Project that great improvements had already been made on the sharing of information, but that more needs to be done.

Bradley stressed the importance of the UK remaining part of a number of crime and policing measures that Parliament will vote on and which have greatly improved our ability to find out about foreign offenders who move to the UK.

Karen Bradley MP

Karen Bradley MP

“Public protection must not be lost in a wider debate about the UK’s place in Europe,” stated Bradley. “More must be done to prevent offenders like paedophiles, rapists and murderers from exploiting free movement rights to slip unnoticed into another nation where they can then prey on unsuspecting new victims. It’s vital we know when these predators arrive on our shores. We need more powers to tackle them, not fewer. That’s why it’s in the public interest – and is absolutely essential – that the UK remains a part of key European measures.”

In conclusion, the MP commented: “Failure to do so would send us back to the Dark Ages of being unable to find out anything about foreign criminals who’ve moved to our country, in turn making it impossible to act against them. There’s no doubt that this would carry a serious public protection risk and could even cost lives.”

Management and exchange of data

The SOMEC Project was established to examine the management and exchange of data on mobile serious sexual and violent offenders across Europe. Final recommendations on how improvements can be made are expected to be published in early 2015.

Parliament will vote today (Monday 10 November) on a small number of EU crime and justice measures the Government intends to remain part of in the public interest after opting out of a much larger number.

Parliament will vote on Monday 10 November on a small number of EU crime and justice measures the UK Government intends to remain part of in the public interest after opting out of a much larger number

Parliament will vote on Monday 10 November on a small number of EU crime and justice measures the UK Government intends to remain part of in the public interest after opting out of a much larger number

The measures the UK intends to remain part of include the Swedish Initiative, the Second Generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) and the European Criminal Record Information System (ECRIS). These have all been identified by the SOMEC Project as being important existing tools that should be used more effectively across Europe so as to track mobile serious criminals.

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Nedap looks ahead during the 2014 ASIS European Security Conference

Although the 13th Edition of the ASIS European Security Conference at The Hague is still in full swing, Nedap is already looking back on a successful event.

As Gold Sponsor, the company was closely involved in the organisation of the ASIS Welcome Party. In addition, Nedap’s CEO Ruben Wegman took part in Wednesday’s opening plenary panel discussion on ‘The Future of Security Technology’.

Six months after the decision taken by ASIS and Nedap to add an informal networking event to the conference programme, the ASIS Welcome Party – powered by Nedap – took place at The World Forum in The Hague, Netherlands on Tuesday 1 April. 350 enthusiastic security professionals caught up on developments in the security sector.

ASIS International president Richard Widup at the Welcome Party

ASIS International president Richard Widup at the Welcome Party

At the beginning of the evening, the multi-talented Niek Boes played the role of his spectacular character, which party attendees soon referred to as ‘The Robotic Man’. Delegates also enjoyed the musical performance of Keys & Colors, who played requests during the evening.

The Future of Security Technology

On Wednesday 2 April from 10.30 am-11.20 am, Nedap CEO Ruben Wegman contributed to the plenary panel discussion on ‘The Future of Security Technology’.

This session was moderated by British journalist Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI (Media Solutions Manager for UBM Live’s Security and Fire Portfolio) and also featured Ray Mauritsson (president and CEO at Axis Communications) and Roland Billeter, president of continental Europe at Tyco Integrated Fire and Security.

During the discussions, Wegman explained his vision on the role of hardware in physical security, to which he cited the importance of a change in the thinking of ‘traditional’ security suppliers.

“Looking at the current security market, you see that little has changed in the last decades,” stated Wegman. “That’s remarkable, especially when you consider that a security system handles huge amounts of data and functions as one of the major IT systems within a company.”

Nedap CEO Ruben Wegman (left) chats with colleagues at the ASIS European Security Conference Welcome Party

Nedap CEO Ruben Wegman (left) chats with colleagues at the ASIS European Security Conference Welcome Party

Wegman continued: “That’s quite a paradox, because in physical security hardware is still leading. Controllers are often dedicated to perform only one functionality, such as access control. This is rarely beneficial to clients, who often encounter inflexible systems where expansion is unnecessarily expensive. A patchwork of systems may be the end result.”

Nedap’s CEO added: “Taking this into consideration, it’s important that physical security systems start to behave in a similar fashion to IT systems, where generic hardware and open standards have already been a logical concept for many years. For the future of physical security I foresee the same principle.”

Wegman is adamant that generic hardware and open standards in security are the only way to ensure that security systems can easily be tailor-made according to customer requirements and be easily integrated with existing IT systems.”

In conclusion, Wegman explained: “The security industry has to invest in making generic hardware and standardising software so that customers receive the freedom they need to roll out a scalable and flexible system on a global basis.”

The 14th edition of the ASIS European Security Conference takes place in Frankfurt between 29-31 March 2015.

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Europol and Microsoft enter new global partnerships in fight against cyber crime

Microsoft Corp has announced three new global partnerships with the Organisation of American States (OAS), Europol and FIS to increase co-operation between international law enforcement and the private sector in combating cyber crime and helping to build a safer Internet.

Microsoft officials signed Memorandums of Understanding with representatives of the three organisations during the company’s first annual Cybercrime Enforcement Summit, which brought together more than 60 leaders and experts from law enforcement, academia and the private sector to share legal and technical solutions aimed at confronting the global spread of cyber crime.

The conference follows on from the opening of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, a state-of-the-art facility designed specifically to advance the global fight against cyber crime.

The agreements establish a framework for co-operation and are intended to spur collaboration and help Microsoft work with each of the three organisations to pursue criminal enterprises engaged in cyber crime.

Microsoft, the Organisation of American States, Europol and FIS anticipate that the collaboration will enable them to strengthen their forensic and technical analysis of malware and botnets, improve the assessment and investigation of emerging malware threats, enhance enforcement actions against cyber criminals and ultimately dismantle these criminal organisations.

Microsoft Corp has announced three new global partnerships with the Organisation of American States, Europol and FIS

Microsoft Corp has announced three new global partnerships with the Organisation of American States, Europol and FIS

Preying on consumers

“Cyber criminals are increasingly sophisticated in preying on consumers, including children and senior citizens,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s executive vice-president and general counsel. “These agreements will help the private and public sectors fight cyber crime more effectively while also protecting our customers’ privacy.”

Microsoft is excited to mark its first collaboration with the Organisation of American States. The OAS was established in part to strengthen collaboration among its member states, which currently includes all 34 independent states of the Americas.

The OAS is committed to developing a ‘culture of cyber security’ by taking effective, preventative measures to anticipate, address and respond to cyber attacks.

“There are no borders when it comes to cyber crime,” said OAS ambassador Adam Blackwell. “The criminals are located worldwide, making it impossible for any single organisation to fight cybercrime alone.”

Blackwell added: “We must harness the power of partnerships to have a greater impact against these criminals and keep the Internet safer for everyone.”

Microsoft often collaborates with law enforcement organisations. One example is the recent partnership with Europol to successfully disrupt the dangerous ZeroAccess botnet, which infected up to 2 million computers and stole millions of dollars from online advertisers.

Europol (which boasts its own European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) based at Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands) has supported numerous major cyber crime operations involving malicious software and online child exploitation. This latest agreement solidifies Europol’s commitment to continue providing targeted and effective approaches to combat cyber crime in Europe.

“The ZeroAccess botnet disruption demonstrated the power of our combined efforts as our co-ordinated approach forced the cyber criminals in this case to walk away from their criminal enterprise,” said Europol’s assistant director Troels Oerting, who’s in charge of EC3.

“This kind of collaboration is the new model needed to attack cyber crime, and that is why we’re committed to working with Microsoft so we can take more aggressive action in the future.”

Financial crime: a serious cyber security threat

Financial crimes in particular pose a serious cyber security threat. As the world’s largest provider of financial technology, FIS is on the front line of the fight to maintain the cyber security of payments and financial transactions worldwide.

By signing this MoU, FIS is taking another step on behalf of its financial institution clients to help protect them against cyber crime.

“This partnership with Microsoft will help FIS to better protect its clients from cyber crime and make global financial transactions safer for our clients and their customers,” said Greg Montana, EVP and chief risk officer at FIS.

“We’re pleased to partner with companies like Microsoft which are taking aggressive action to address cyber crime at every opportunity. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Microsoft.”

More information about Microsoft’s efforts to fight cybercrime and the new Microsoft Cybercrime Center can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/news/presskits/dcu

About the Organisation of American States

The Organisation of American states is the world’s oldest regional organisation, dating back to the First International Conference of American States held in Washington DC from October 1889 to April 1890.

Today, the OAS brings together all 34 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical and social governmental forum in the Hemisphere.

In addition, it has granted permanent observer status to 67 states as well as to the European Union (EU).

About Europol

Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency whose main goal is to help achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU citizens.

It does this by assisting the European Union’s Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism.

About FIS

FIS is the world’s largest global provider dedicated to banking and payments technologies. With a long history deeply rooted in the financial services sector, FIS serves more than 14,000 institutions in over 110 countries.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, FIS employs more than 39,000 people worldwide and holds leadership positions in payment processing and banking solutions, providing software, services and outsourcing of the technology that drives financial institutions.

First in financial technology, FIS tops the annual FinTech 100 list, is 434 on the Fortune 500 and a member of Standard & Poor’s 500® Index.

For more information about FIS visit: http://www.fisglobal.com

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft visit the Microsoft News Centre at: http://www.microsoft.com/news

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Dutch Security and Justice Minister to open ASIS Europe 2014

ASIS International has announced that Ivo Willem Opstelten, Security and Justice Minister of The Netherlands, will give a Keynote presentation during the opening plenary of ASIS Europe 2014, which takes place on 2 April.

The 13th ASIS European Security Conference and Exhibition runs at The Hague in the Netherlands from 1-3 April.

Ivo Opstelten was appointed Security and Justice Minister on 14 October 2010. First, in the Rutte-Verhagen Government, then from 5 November 2012 in its successor, namely the Rutte-Asscher Government.

After graduating, Opstelten worked for the municipality of Vlaardingen between 1970 and 1972. He was then, successively, Mayor of Dalen (from 1972-1977), Doorn (1977-1980) and Delfzijl (1980-1987).

Ivo Opstelten

Ivo Opstelten

In 1987, Opstelten was appointed director general for public order and safety at the Ministry of the Interior. From 1992 he was Mayor of Utrecht, and then Mayor of Rotterdam between 1999 and 2008. Finally, Opstelten was acting Mayor of Tilburg from 2009 to 2010.

Formation of the Rutte-Verhagen Government

In 2010, from 4 August to 4 September and then again from 13 September to 7 October, Opstelten was the mediator in the negotiations that resulted in the formation of the Rutte-Verhagen Government. He joined that Ggovernment from 14 October 2010 as Security and Justice Minister.

Godfried Hendriks CPP, Member of the Board of Directors of ASIS International, said: “ASIS International is honoured by the participation of Minister Opstelten at ASIS Europe 2014. Such high-level participation can be seen as recognition of the leading role that ASIS holds in developing the security profession in the Netherlands and across Europe. ASIS believes that a continuous dialogue between practitioners and the public sector is critical to making the world a more secure place.”

Details on the conference

The 13th ASIS European Security Conference and Exhibition will cover a wide range of security issues in 44 high-level educational sessions divided over four parallel tracks.

The conference will also feature the following elements:

• Chief Security Officers (CSOs) Round Table Summit organised by the CSO Roundtable of ASIS International
• CEE Workshop focusing on security issues in Central and Eastern Europe
• Technology and Solutions Theatre specifically created for exhibitors to showcase their products, services and expertise
• Unrivalled networking opportunities at the Welcome Reception and at the President’s Reception, business lunches and networking breaks

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