At its 90th Interpol General Gathering in New Delhi, the global police organization INTERPOL presented its new project for the first time – the first ever metaverse designed for the needs of police organizations around the world.
The INTERPOL metaverse is already available and operational in its entirety. Registered users can visit the virtually recreated INTERPOL Headquarters of the Secretariat General in Lyon, bypassing geographical and physical barriers. In the metaverse, they can communicate with other users using avatars and can attend various immersive-interactive training courses related to forensic research and various other police tasks.
The INTERPOL metaverse functions through the INTERPOL Secured Cloud, thereby ensuring the complete neutrality of this system.
During the interactive presentation of the system, delegates who participated in the gathering in New Delhi had the opportunity to try out the new metaverse themselves and walk around the virtually recreated lyon headquarters using VR glasses.
“For many, the metaverse represents an abstract future, but the problems that come with it are those that have always motivated INTERPOL – supporting our member countries in fighting crime and creating a world, virtual or real, safer for those in it,” says INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock. “We may be entering a new world, but our commitment and our goals remain the same.”
INTERPOL also announces the formation of a group of metaverse experts to carry out the tasks that police organizations perform in reality i.e. to make a new, virtual world, safer.
Metaverse – a world accessible to all
Although metaverse and virtual reality are generally considered something whose primary purpose is gaming, but it is much more than that. The metaverse is often referred to as the next potential stage of internet development. Technology research firm Gartner predicts that by 2026, one in four people will spend at least one in the metaverse, whether for work, learning, socializing or entertainment.
Interpol’s latest report on the global crime trend indicates that more crime is moving online. The world is increasingly digitizing and there is a blurring of the boundaries between the real and the virtual. This raises the question of how do the police continue to provide security to people?
Criminals are already starting to exploit the metaverse. Various frauds, extremisms and misinformation pose serious problems. As the number of users of the metaverse increases, so does the number of potential crimes. Crimes against children, data and identity theft, money laundering, financial fraud, forgery, blackmail and abuse in general are just some of the examples that we could soon encounter more and more often in the virtual world.
Some of these crimes could be very difficult to contain because some acts, which are considered a crime in reality, are not considered a crime in the metaverse.
“By identifying these risks from the outset, we can work with shareholders to create the necessary governance frameworks and nip future criminal markets in the bud, before they can fully form,” said Madan Oberoi, INTERPOL’s director of technology and innovation. “Only through negotiations like this can build an effective response to crime.”
New opportunities, old obligations
The metaverse brings many benefits to police organizations. It facilitates remote collaboration, enables better linking, collection and sharing of evidence, and provides new opportunities in training.
In the prepared demonstration, INTERPOL experts from the Directorate of Training and Capacity Building showed what a virtual course for verification of travel documents and examination of passengers would look like. The first part of the course was a lecture in a virtual classroom. In the second part, the participants of the course were teleported to the airport where they could then apply their newly acquired knowledge in practice.
“The metaverse has the potential to transform every aspect of our daily lives, carrying enormous implications for law enforcement,” Oberoi said. “However, for the police to understand the metaverse, they must first experience it themselves.”
Image and information source: INTERPOL