Incident Response Teams
An INTERPOL Incident Response Team (IRT) is deployed at the request of a member country during a crisis situation. There are two types of IRT:
- Disaster – an emergency response to a manmade or natural disaster. The IRT delivers concentrated attention to urgent issues and problems arising from the disaster or crisis, focusing all available INTERPOL resources on the situation at hand.
- Crime – the deployment of specialized personnel to assist and support a member country faced with a major or serious police issue. Crime IRTs provide specific expertise and investigative support to police.
An IRT can be briefed, equipped and deployed anywhere in the world within 12 to 24 hours of an incident.
An IRT is typically composed of expert police and support staff, and is tailored to the specific nature of the crime or disaster and the type of assistance INTERPOL is requested to provide.
IRTs can provide a range of investigative and analytical support at the incident site in coordination with the General Secretariat, such as:
- Issuing international notices for fugitive terrorists whose arrests are sought by member countries;
- Database queries of fingerprints to quickly identify suspects;
- Access to the database of lost or stolen travel documents;
- Money laundering expertise;
- Coordination of response to disaster victim identification through a wide network of international experts and laboratories.
The first IRT was deployed in October 2002 to Indonesia following a terrorist bombing in Bali. To date, more than 80 teams have been deployed to countries across the world.