Implications for policing

Police can harness technology for their own advantage if they are prepared for it and can develop the right tools and approaches. Drones, for example, can be used as evidence as well as for monitoring threats.

Simply put, we study the spectrum of technologies and assess the implications of each one as (1) a threat, (2) a tool for law enforcement and (3) a source of evidence.

Innovation for Police - Spectrum of technologies and the implications of each one  as a threat, a tool for law enforcement and a source of evidence.
Innovation for Police - Spectrum of technologies and the implications of each one
“It is now ‘survival of the fittest’ between law enforcement and criminals. We must continuously adapt, collaborate and innovate.” Anita Hazenberg, Director of Innovation

While physical tools are often seen as the main solution to solving crimes, they are, however, only one piece of a larger puzzle. Organizational structure, training and policing concepts are just as important if police want to get ahead of today’s criminals.

Anticipating challenges

Our Innovation Centre is based in our Singapore office and aims to research, develop and implement the latest tools and approaches to fight international crime. It brings together academics, analysts, law enforcement officers and specialists in technology.

The centre focuses on the following areas:

  • Foresight: anticipating challenges, devising fresh strategies and shaping the way law enforcement needs to be structured;
  • New technologies: understanding their impact on crime and helping law enforcement to leverage technological advances for their own benefit;
  • Policy: setting global policing standards based on member country needs;
  • Concrete deliverables: Delivering technical solutions (such as digital forensics) to member countries based on their immediate needs.

By identifying the best of what our global network has to offer, and making it available to the world’s police, we can reduce duplication of effort and keep police up to date on new developments they may otherwise not know about.

We have four labs, each researching a different aspect:

Futures and Foresight Lab

  • Carries out environmental scanning and scenario planning to understand the drivers and trends behind global crime;
  • Examines how global developments (technology, policy, strategy, geopolitics) could affect policing from an organizational, legislative and ethical point of view.

Adaptive Policing Lab

  • Researches emerging technologies and innovation methodologies in law enforcement;
  • Analyses how these technologies can become a threat, but also a tool and a source of evidence;
  • Creates a networking ecosystem of innovation specialists and experts on emerging technologies

Cyberspace and New Technologies Lab

  • Identifies emerging technologies and how they are used by criminals;
  • Fosters research and test-bedding on new technologies for policing.

Digital Forensics Lab

  • Develops cutting-edge digital forensics capabilities and solutions and promotes standards in this area;
  • Assists investigators with the preservation, extraction and analysis of digital data from digital devices (laptop computers, mobile phones, hard drives);
  • Supports member countries in training activities to improve global digital forensics capabilities, including laboratory assessment and setup, mobile forensics and computer analysis;
  • Develops an online catalogue of digital forensic tools, which will provide investigators with user-friendly data they can use to boost investigations.
Innovation in INTERPOL Directorates
Innovation in INTERPOL Directorates


Darknet and cryptocurrency taxonomy

The INTERPOL Darknet and Cryptocurrencies Task Force is designing a global cryptocurrency taxonomy – a set of classifications defining which categories of data from suspicious cryptocurrency transactions should be collected. These could include, for example, what cryptocurrency exchanges were used, or the type of crime the transaction is linked to.

The categories would be digitally tagged to the cryptocurrency, similar to how a digital photograph is tagged with data on the location of the image, date it was taken and the type of equipment used.

The draft taxonomy, which can be viewed online, is focused on three categories of information:

  • Entities – individuals, organizations, digital entities;
  • Services – Darknet markets, cryptocurrency exchanges, messages facilitators and other service providers connected to the transaction;
  • Types of crimes – what crimes the transaction is related to, such as illicit online sales of drugs or weapons, child sexual abuse, terrorism or cybercrimes.

The final taxonomy will be shared globally as a standardized guide for law enforcement, private industry and academia to use for tagging cryptocurrencies.

Call for participation – Are you in law enforcement, private industry or academia and work with the Darknet or cryptocurrencies? INTERPOL needs your help to ensure the proposed categories effectively cover all aspects of the Darknet and cryptocurrency-enabled crimes which could be encountered. We encourage you to review the proposal and contact the INTERPOL Innovation Centre  with comments and feedback.