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Towards Transformative Global Policing

  • 21 Oct 2022
  • 8 min read

This article is based on “Why Interpol needs to get better at countering global challenges” which was published in The Indian Express on 18/10/2022. It talks about the Interpol General Assembly meeting in India and challenges in front of global policing.

For Prelims: The Interpol General Assembly, Central Bureau of Investigation, International Criminal Court, UN Security Council, Red Notice, Bioweapons, Cyberwarfare.

For Mains: Interpol Notices, Challenges in Front of Global Policing, From Politics Centric to People Centric Ecosystem of Interpol.

World's largest international police organisation, Interpol facilitates police cooperation across borders. The Interpol General Assembly meeting is taking place in India after a gap of about 25 years, it was last held in 1997.

Considering the evolution of the criminal landscape, crimes are becoming more sophisticated, more transnational, and more complex for investigators, due to technological advances that require serious attention to keep the International Policing standards up to the mark.

What is Interpol?

  • The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) was set up in 1923, in order to facilitate criminal investigation across the globe.
  • Interpol has 195 member countries including India. They work together to share data related to police investigations.
  • Interpol is neither an investigative agency nor a front-line police force. It is mandated to share information and provide back-end technical assistance to law enforcement agencies.
    • Each country hosts an Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), which links national police with a global network.

What are Interpol Notices?

  • Interpol Notices are international requests for cooperation or alerts allowing police in member countries to share critical crime-related information.
    • Notices are issued by the General Secretariat.
  • Notices can also be issued at the request of International Criminal Tribunals and the International Criminal Court to seek persons wanted for committing crimes within their jurisdiction, notably genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

What are the Challenges in Front of Global Policing?

  • Accelerating Technology, Challenging Policies: The next decades will likely be characterised by the acceleration of digitalization, hyper-connectivity and an exponential growth in the volumes of data.
  • Rising Global Migration and Era of Gen-Z: At the global level international migrations can be expected to persist. In addition, the next decade will be shaped by the maturation of Generation Z, born entirely in the digital age and featuring high rates of smartphone social media penetration, this creates possibility of data-breach and cyberwarfare between two countries.
  • Widening Global Trust Deficit: Global policing can only be imagined in harmony with global cooperation but currently the globe is experiencing the theatre of geo-strategic competition, shaping multipolarity and rising traditional issues of cross border trafficking and terrorism.
    • Around the world, many governments, businesses and media are facing growing trust deficit and social polarisation. Through the rise of synthetic media and digitally enabled mis- and disinformation.
  • Climate Change and Global Policing: More frequent and severe extreme weather events due to climate change are increasing public concerns over these risks of Ecocide.
    • It is also putting a strain on global public safety capabilities and resources.
  • Changing Tides of Globalisation: Growing income inequality and nationalist sentiments have fuelled a backlash against globalisation, for instance it is visible in the escalation in trade disputes.
    • In the coming decades, populism and nationalism are likely to remain significant countervailing forces.
    • In the long run this could have repercussions for existing international regimes, including policing cooperation, with more reliance on regional, bilateral or informal arrangements.
  • Limited Policing Jurisdiction: In democratic politics across the globe, police forces have to act with restraint, within the boundaries of legal procedures, whereas the lawbreakers enjoy the ease of mobility and access to the internet.

What Should be the Way Forward?

  • Speeding up Red Notice Process: The notice mechanism of Interpol should be improved to speed up the process of issuing Red Notices to fugitive offenders, sending a message that there can be no safe havens for corrupt, terrorist and drug cartels.
  • Early Detection and Warning System: There is a need to develop international strategies for establishment of early detection and warning systems and intelligence exchange to take global policing to a new level.
  • From Politics Centric to People Centric Ecosystem: There is a need to keep policing away from the theatre of geopolitical issues. Public-spirited efficient policing is the most meaningful confidence-building measure that people across diverse geopolitical contours desire and deserve.
    • Interpol and cross-national law enforcement agencies must endeavour to build, maintain and operate a people-centric ecosystem to meet evolving challenges.
  • Developing Cyber-Policing for Cyber Crimes: To meet the growing sophistication, complexity and trans nationalization of crime, new digital investigative and data management capabilities, expertise like innovative AI-enhanced tools are the need of the hour.
    • For example, criminal statistics will have to be updated to adequately capture cybercrime across the globe.
    • International policing cooperation has to evolve and become more connected to meet the greater imperative for collaboration.
  • Opportunity for India: India is now an acknowledged technology powerhouse. India’s demographic dividend of a large and young technology-oriented workforce in startups can be utilised for upgrading the security architecture and setting up effective policing standards for the globe.
    • Indian skill development resources through capacity building programmes run by the CBI training academy are used periodically by the international police fraternity, particularly law enforcement agencies in Asia and Africa.

Drishti Mains Question

What are the major challenges related to global policing and to what extent Interpol can facilitate global cooperation to tackle rising cybercrimes.

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