This report from the Europol Innovations Laboratory brings together all the information gathered during an event in June, and it provides a first, law enforcement-centric outlook at current developments, potential implications for law enforcement, as well as key recommendations as to what the law enforcement community could do to prepare for the future. The first part of the report presents the concept of immersive worlds and the technologies underpinning it, such as virtual and mixed reality, web3 and blockchain. The second part explores how the metaverse can be abused in specific crime areas such as financial crime, online abuse and harassment, radicalisation, mass surveillance and disinformation – but says that the metaverse could also present opportunities for the police, not only from an investigation perspective but also to engage more closely with the public it serves or for training purposes. The third part focuses on those. The final part explores best practices of building police presence online and provides recommendations for police forces around the world to start thinking about their online policing strategies for the future.
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