Chapter 23: INTERPOL’s NEST: building capability and capacity to respond to transnational environmental crime
The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) is the international policing coordination body established to facilitate exchange of intelligence on crime and perpetrators across national borders. Through infrastructure, technical and operational support it assists its member countries to meet the growing challenges of fighting crime in the twenty-first century (INTERPOL no date b). Since 1992, and especially from 2008 onwards, INTERPOL has played an increasing role in assisting a variety of response agencies to deter, detect and disrupt environmental crime and transnational environmental crime, with a particular emphasis on pollution and wildlife crime. In this time, INTERPOL has acted as a coordinating hub and conduit for building capability and capacity to respond effectively to this crime type, whether domestic or transnational. Wyatt (2013, p. 175) considers that: [a]rguably, the most important transnational collaboration taking place is the work undertaken by INTERPOL and its Environmental Crime Programme . . . INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme has developed global projects that are improving the capacity of law enforcement to combat wildlife trafficking as well as providing a secure and much needed intelligence and information sharing infrastructure for all of its 190 member nations. Effective responses to environmental crime, and especially transnational environmental crime, are increasingly dependent upon the involvement of and coordination between more traditional mainstream law enforcement agencies (such as policing, customs and border protection agencies) and environmental regulatory agencies.
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