Incident Response Teams
An INTERPOL Incident Response Team (IRT) is deployed at the request of a member country during a crisis situation.
The teams promote cooperation among countries and facilitate access to INTERPOL’s tools and services.
There are two types of IRT:
- Disaster – an emergency response to unforeseen catastrophic events, such as large-scale accidents or natural disasters;
- 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 from INTERPOL, its member countries or external partners, who provide investigative and analytical support at the site of the incident.
The composition of the team is tailored according to the specific nature of the disaster or crime and the requirements of the requesting country.
Team members are highly specialized and trained personnel, able to work with the requesting member country to meet its specific needs.
IRTs can provide a range of investigative and analytical support at the incident site in coordination with the INTERPOL 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. As of April 2016, a total of 109 teams have been deployed to countries across the world.