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INTERPOL launches first global police Metaverse

LEOs can connect virtually, experience immersive training and overcome physical geographic barriers during investigations


Photo/YouTube via INTERPOL

By Ashley Silver

NEW DELHI, India — As advances in public safety technology progress, law enforcement officials around the world are weighing in on the advantages and challenges of officers stepping into the virtual reality Metaverse.

Global police organization INTERPOL recently revealed the first ever Metaverse virtual world dedicated to law enforcement nationwide, according to a press release. The technology allows officers to supersede geographical boundaries, touring places like the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France with other officers via their avatars, taking immersive training courses in forensic investigation and other policing capabilities all through the Metaverse.

“For many, the Metaverse seems to herald an abstract future, but the issues it raises are those that have always motivated INTERPOL – supporting our member countries to fight crime and making the world, virtual or not, safer for those who inhabit it,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock in the press release.

The advancement was announced during the INTERPOL General Assembly in New Delhi recently.

Despite the notable excitement surrounding the Metaverse, not every researcher is convinced the new technology is safe. A new report from the Europol Innovation Lab is sounding the alarm on elevated threats virtual worlds could present including ransomware attacks, identify theft, crypto money-laundering, child exploitation, terroristic recruitment and a rise in disinformation.

During the assembly, officials discussed online crimes and the need for a law enforcement presence in the digital world to uncover and combat criminals within these online spaces. INTERPOL acknowledges there will be challenges since it takes time for laws rooted in the physical world to catch up with the legality or illegality of actions in the Metaverse, but they can take proactive steps to solve crime using the technology.

“By identifying these risks from the outset, we can work with stakeholders to shape the necessary governance frameworks and cut off future criminal markets before they are fully formed,” said Madan Oberoi, INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Technology and Innovation during the meeting. “Only by having these conversations now can we build an effective response.”

“The Metaverse has the potential to transform every aspect of our daily lives with enormous implications for law enforcement,” said Mr Oberoi, INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Technology and Innovation. “But in order for police to understand the Metaverse, we need to experience it.”

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