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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 2013, a total of 20 regional training courses had been delivered, most of them directly followed by field operations.

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).

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.

Since 2009, the task force has supported 12 operations and contributed to the seizure of 110 stolen vehicles, as well as the arrest of more than 50 individuals.

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 six countries and the German car manufacturers Volkswagen (including Skoda, Seat and Bentley), Audi (including Lamborghini), BMW and Porsche, which all regularly exchange data with INTERPOL. Initiated by the German National Central Bureau, the pilot project started in January 2009 and was adopted later that year at the INTERPOL General Assembly meeting in Singapore.

Since its inception, INVEX has contributed to the detection of stolen cars and components in about 70 member countries, leading to more than 300 seizures and various follow-up investigations.