International Criminal Police Organization
Organisation internationale de police criminelle
Flag of INTERPOL.svg
Common nameInterpol
MottoConnecting police for a safer world
Agency overview
Formed7 September 1923 (1923-09-07)
Preceding agencies
  • First International Criminal Police Congress (1914)
  • International Police Conference (1922)
  • International Criminal Police Commission (1923)
Employees1,050 (2019)
Annual budget€142 million (2019)
Jurisdictional structure
International agency
Countries194 member states
Map of the member states of Interpol 2018.svg
Map of International Criminal Police Organization's jurisdiction
Constituting instrument
  • ICPO-INTERPOL Constitution and General Regulations[1][2]
Operational structure
HeadquartersLyon, France
Multinational agency
Nationalities of personnel114 (2019)
Agency executives
National Central Bureaus194
Website Edit this at Wikidata
INTERPOL headquarters in Lyon

The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO; French: Organisation internationale de police criminelle), commonly known as Interpol (UK: /ˈɪnt.ər.pɒl/ INT-ər-pol, US: /-pl/ -⁠pohl),[3] is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control. Headquartered in Lyon, France, it is the world's largest international police organization, with seven regional bureaus worldwide and a National Central Bureau in all 195 member states.[4]

Interpol was conceived during the first International Criminal Police Congress in 1914, which brought officials from 24 countries to discuss cooperation in law enforcement. It was founded on September 7, 1923 at the close of the five-day 1923 Congress session in Vienna as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC),[5] and adopted many of its current duties throughout the 1930s. After coming under Nazi control in 1938, the agency was effectively moribund until the end of World War II. In 1956, the ICPC adopted a new constitution and the name Interpol, derived from its telegraphic address used since 1946.[6]

Interpol provides investigative support, expertise, and training to law enforcement worldwide, focusing on three major areas of transnational crime: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime. Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking and production, political corruption, intellectual property infringement, and white-collar crime. The agency also facilitates cooperation among national law enforcement institutions through criminal databases and communications networks. Contrary to popular belief, Interpol is itself not a law enforcement agency.

Interpol has an annual budget of €142 million, most of which comes from annual contributions by member police forces in 181 countries. It is governed by a General Assembly composed of all member countries, which elects the Executive Committee and the President (currently Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi of the United Arab Emirates) to supervise and implement Interpol's policies and administration. Day-to-day operations are carried out by the General Secretariat, comprising around 1,000 personnel from over 100 countries, including both police and civilians. The Secretariat is led by the Secretary-General, currently Jürgen Stock, the former deputy head of Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office.

Pursuant to its charter, Interpol seeks to remain politically neutral in fulfilling its mandate, and is thus barred from interventions or activities that are political, military, religious, or racial in nature and from involving itself in disputes over such matters.[7] The agency operates in four languages: Arabic, English, French and Spanish.[4]

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Constitution2008 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "General Regulations of the International Criminal Police Organization" (PDF). Interpol, Office of Legal Affairs. 1956. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. ^ Wells, John (3 April 2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Pearson Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
  4. ^ a b "General Secretariat". Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  5. ^ Mathieu Deflem, Policing World Society: Historical Foundations of International Police Cooperation (Oxford University Press, 2004) p. 125
  6. ^ "Name and logo". INTERPOL. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Neutrality (Article 3 of the Constitution)". INTERPOL. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2017.

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