Europol has published a report titled ‘Policing in the metaverse: what law enforcement needs to know’. The report highlights the vulnerability of the metaverse to criminal activities, and the need for building online police presence. Notably, Europol’s report draws from in-depth consultations with law enforcement, industry and academia. The report also provides some recommendations for handling criminal uses of the metaverse.
Governments must answer two crucial questions when it comes to enforcing law in the metaverse: what are the safety measures that metaverse service providers must implement, and what resources should law enforcement agencies be equipped with to efficiently fufill their duties within the metaverse?
It is important that law enforcement authorities develop an understanding of the emerging technologies related to the metaverse. They must also build an understanding of what they will need to execute their duties of protection and investigation within the metaverse. It is also critical that law enforcement authorities engage fruitfully with the companies creating the metaverse and related technologies. Finally, to be able to police the metaverse, law enforcement authorities must also sufficiently experience it. There are already some examples, detailed in Europol’s report, where law enforcement authorities have innovated in this field.