Israel and UK top cops meet at Scotland Yard

March 1, 2012
Hogan-Howe (left) with Danino

Hogan-Howe (left) with Danino

For the first time in recent years, Israel's police chief has made an official visit to Britain.

During a five-day trip that ended on Saturday night, Commissioner Inspector-General Yohanan Danino met Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, and invited him for a return visit to Israel after the Olympics.

He also held meetings at the Serious Organised Crime Agency and at the counter-terrorism Central Operations Specialist Firearms Command.

Israel has a police attaché in The Hague who liaises with UK police, with varying degrees of success. "Now, after this visit, more doors will be open for him," said Diane Eldad-Sheetrit, the head of Israel Police's International Co-operation Unit, who took part in the London meetings. "If they had some difficulties before this visit, it will be easier for him now." In concrete terms, she said, it would mean more willingness to share information on investigations with Israel.

Subjects discussed included drug trafficking, money-laundering, cyber crime and economic crime. Ms Eldad-Sheetrit said that there was also discussion of some existing shared investigations, but declined to give details.

She said that one of the most interesting discussions between the two police chiefs focused on community policing.

Israel's police are often criticised domestically for failing to establish a strong presence in communities. Mr Danino was impressed by the British model of the community support officer, and by the strong channels of communication between the Met and the public.

Ms Eldad-Sheetrit said Mr Danino hoped for support for Israel's application to join the European crime intelligence agency, Europol. Israel's application appeared to reach a dead end in 2010, after member states objected because there were police stations on land that Israel captured in the Six Day War. Mr Danino would like Britain to back the application.

Last updated: 3:25pm, March 1 2012