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Monday March 04, 2024

How would police function in metaverse?

Interpol has created a VR environment where users can receive training and participate in online meetings

By Web Desk
February 04, 2023
A man wears a VR headset during the DCentral Miami conference at the Miami Airport Convention Center, in Miami, Florida, US, Dec. 1, 2021.— AFP
A man wears a VR headset during the DCentral Miami conference at the Miami Airport Convention Center, in Miami, Florida, US, Dec. 1, 2021.— AFP 

Interpol is looking at how to police crime in the metaverse, according to Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock, reported the BBC.

The metaverse is the idea that in the future, human beings will be represented by 3D avatars in their online life.

Interpol has created a virtual reality (VR) environment where users can receive training and participate in online meetings.

Stock emphasised the significance of the agency not falling behind.

"Criminals are sophisticated and professional in very quickly adapting to any new technological tool that is available to commit a crime," he was quoted as saying by the BBC. "We need to sufficiently respond to that. Sometimes lawmakers, police, and our societies are running a little bit behind."

Police officers can experience what the metaverse might be like in the environment, which can only be accessed through secure servers, providing them with an idea of the crimes that might occur and how they might be investigated.

What is the Metaverse?

Some people believe that the internet's future may lie in the metaverse. According to popular thinking, the metaverse might be to VR what the present smartphone is to the first awkward mobile phones from the 1980s.

In the metaverse, you may don a headset to visit a virtual world that connects many digital worlds in place of using a computer. Nevertheless, there isn't a single accepted definition of the metaverse because it is still only an idea.

To put it another way, comparing a VR environment to the metaverse is akin to comparing Google to the internet, the BBC report read.

So how can Interpol, a group that promotes international police cooperation, look into the metaverse if it doesn't already exist?

A journalist labelled the findings of a BBC study on sexual and verbal harassment in VR games "disturbing" in 2022.

Later that year, protesters claimed that in Meta's VR platform Horizon Worlds, a 21-year-old researcher's avatar had been sexually attacked.

What is a metaverse crime?

There are problems in defining a metaverse crime, according to Dr Madan Oberoi, Interpol's executive head of technology and innovation.

Giving the example of cases of sexual harassment, he said that there were crimes where he did not know whether they can still be called a crime or not.

He claimed that increasing public awareness of these issues was one of Interpol's major challenges.