Major Event Support Teams
An INTERPOL Major Event Support Team (IMEST) is deployed to assist member countries in the preparation, coordination and implementation of security arrangements for major events.
Major events are high profile conferences or sporting events which attract large crowds or intense media coverage. As such, they also attract individuals or groups intent on disruption to gain attention for their cause or for criminal gain.
Instant and direct access to data services
IMEST team members assist the national and foreign liaison officers of participating countries in making the most efficient use of INTERPOL’s full array of databases. They facilitate real-time exchange of messages and vital police data among all member countries. This data includes fingerprints, photos, wanted person notices, and data relating to stolen and lost travel documents and stolen motor vehicles.
An IMEST can be tailored to a member country’s needs prior to and during an event and brings all of INTERPOL services to focus on the upcoming event. The global police communications network, known as I-24/7, can be enhanced and used for immediate outreach to the worldwide law enforcement community, should the need arise.
Ensuring public safety
An IMEST also has the capacity and resources to become an immediate INTERPOL Response Team if a crisis situation should happen at a major event.
The field of major event planning, preparation and support has increased significantly in recent years. The threat of terrorism and event disruption has forced host countries to dedicate more time and resources to these events. Increasingly, member countries are requesting support from INTERPOL, not only in the lead up to an event but for its duration.
The first IMEST was deployed in 2002 to the USA for the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. To date, more than 110 teams have been deployed to countries across the world.