Vehicle crime initiatives
At INTERPOL, we have set up a number of working groups, bringing together experts from across the world. These working groups have developed a range of projects focusing on specific issues, for example, police training, working with industry and supporting operations in the field.
Delivering training (Project Formatrain)
Project Formatrain has established a standardized training programme to facilitate investigations into international cases of vehicle theft.
Courses are run at basic, intermediate and advanced level in order to assist investigators in areas such as vehicle and document identification; investigative strategies, techniques and tools; the use of INTERPOL's databases and global network; and legal considerations.
The course combines three days of classroom training with a two-day operation or practical exercise, allowing participants to consolidate their new skills by applying them in the field.
Training courses are delivered by a team of international experts and are carried out on a regional basis, enabling countries to build working relationships and work together more effectively on cross-border cases.
By the end of 2011, a total of 16 regional training courses had been delivered, benefiting some 480 officers from around 40 different countries worldwide. Moreover, two Formatrain workshops on identification of Heavy Equipment were carried out in Lyon, France, in May 2011 with the participation of 30 officers.
Supporting operations (SMV Task Force)
INTERPOL regularly provides technical, organizational and human resources to its member countries to assist with the preparation and implementation of operations related to stolen motor vehicles (SMV). Since 2006, we have supported more than 20 operations in Europe, Africa and the Americas.
The Operational INTERPOL SMV Task Force consists of police officers and private investigators – all experts in the field of vehicle crime – from a number of different INTERPOL countries and Europol.
This initiative aims to:
- Share operational skills and expertise between the different national experts;
- Improve the speed of access to the different national databases and information sources and thereby increase the accuracy of results;
- Analyse the outcomes of operations;
- Start investigations based on these operational outcomes and analysis.
Seven operations were supported by the task force between 2009 and 2011 in the Balkans, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain:
- Around 10,000 motor vehicles were checked;
- 106 stolen vehicles identified and seized;
- 45 offenders arrested.
The majority of the impounded cars came from countries in Western Europe.
Working with car manufacturers (Project INVEX)
We work with a number of car manufacturers to find new ways of detecting stolen motor vehicles and to increase the quality of the data in the Stolen Motor Vehicles database.
Project INVEX currently involves five countries and the German car manufacturers Volkswagen (including Skoda, Seat and Bentley), Audi (including Lamborghini) and Porsche, which all regularly exchange data with INTERPOL. Initiated by the German National Central Bureau (NCB), the pilot project started in January 2009 and was adopted later that year at the INTERPOL General Assembly meeting in Singapore. New car manufacturers and member countries are expected to join during the course of 2012.