INTERPOL is an intergovernmental organization that facilitates international police cooperation

OdishaPlus Knowledge Series

‘International Criminal Police Organization’ (INTERPOL) operates as a liaison between law enforcement agencies of different countries, facilitating communication, coordination, and cooperation in combating transnational crime.

It provides a range of services and tools to its member countries, including databases, operational support, training, and expertise in various areas of law enforcement.

INTERPOL maintains its independence through several mechanisms:

  • Neutral Stance: INTERPOL operates on a neutral and apolitical basis, focusing solely on law enforcement cooperation and not involving itself in the political affairs of member countries.
  • Constitutional Framework: INTERPOL’s constitution outlines its governance structure, principles, and operational framework, ensuring its autonomy and independence from external influence.
  • Transparent Governance: INTERPOL’s General Assembly, Executive Committee, and General Secretariat oversee its operations and decision-making processes, ensuring accountability and transparency in its activities.

Member Countries:
Each member country of INTERPOL has a stake in the organization and contributes to its operations. As per the last update, INTERPOL has 195 member countries, making it one of the largest international organizations in the world. Member countries collaborate with INTERPOL by sharing information, intelligence, and resources to combat various forms of transnational crime.

Global Scope:
INTERPOL’s mandate extends to all member countries, making it a truly global organization. While its effectiveness may vary depending on the level of cooperation and resources available in different countries, INTERPOL strives to provide assistance and support to all member countries in combating crime and maintaining public safety.

Types of Notices:
INTERPOL issues several types of notices to assist law enforcement agencies in locating and apprehending fugitives, suspects, and missing persons. Some of the most common notices include:

  • Red Notice: A request to locate and provisionally arrest a wanted person based on a valid national arrest warrant. Red Notices are issued at the request of a member country, international tribunal and circulated worldwide.
  • Blue Notice: A request to collect additional information about a person’s identity, location, or activities, often used in conjunction with other notices or investigations.
  • Green Notice: A request to locate and provide information about a person’s criminal activities, often related to organized crime or terrorism.
  • Yellow Notice: A request to locate missing persons, especially minors or vulnerable individuals, or to identify persons unable to identify themselves.
  • Black Notice: A request to seek information about unidentified bodies.

These notices serve as powerful tools for international law enforcement cooperation, enabling member countries to share information and coordinate efforts to combat crime effectively.

However, it’s important to note that INTERPOL notices are not international arrest warrants and do not grant INTERPOL the authority to arrest individuals. Instead, they serve as alerts to member countries, encouraging them to take appropriate action within their legal frameworks.

The setup of INTERPOL in a member country typically consists of a National Central Bureau (NCB), which serves as the national contact point for INTERPOL within that country.

The NCB is usually located within the national police or law enforcement agency and is responsible for facilitating communication and cooperation between INTERPOL and national authorities. The NCB coordinates the dissemination of INTERPOL notices, coordinates international police operations, and assists in extradition proceedings and criminal investigations involving international dimensions.

INTERPOL is headed by the Secretary-General, who oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization and represents it on the international stage. The Secretary-General is appointed by the INTERPOL General Assembly, composed of representatives from member countries, and serves a five-year term.

The headquarters of INTERPOL is located in Lyon, France.

The organization’s central office serves as the primary hub for coordinating international police cooperation and supporting member countries in their efforts to combat transnational crime.

Appointment of INTERPOL Officials:
INTERPOL does not directly appoint police and intelligence officials from member countries. Instead, member countries second law enforcement officers to INTERPOL on a temporary basis to work on specific projects or assignments. These officers typically serve as liaison officers or specialists in areas such as counter-terrorism, cybercrime, human trafficking, and drug trafficking.

INTERPOL Setup in India:
The Crime Bureau of Investigation (CBI) serves as the National Central Bureau (NCB) for INTERPOL in India.

As the NCB, the CBI is the primary liaison between Indian law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL, facilitating communication, coordination, and cooperation on matters of international law enforcement.

The CBI’s responsibilities as the NCB include:

  1. Dissemination of INTERPOL notices: The CBI is responsible for receiving and disseminating INTERPOL notices, including Red Notices (requests to locate and provisionally arrest wanted persons), Blue Notices (requests for additional information), and other types of alerts.
  2. Coordination of international police cooperation: The CBI facilitates cooperation between Indian law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL member countries on various issues, such as fugitive extradition, cross-border investigations, and sharing of criminal intelligence.
  3. Assistance in international criminal investigations: The CBI assists Indian law enforcement agencies in accessing INTERPOL’s databases and resources to support international criminal investigations, track fugitives, and combat transnational crime.
  4. Representation in INTERPOL meetings and initiatives: The CBI represents India’s interests in INTERPOL’s General Assembly, Executive Committee, and other international forums, advocating for cooperation on global law enforcement challenges.

The CBI’s connection with INTERPOL strengthens India’s ability to combat transnational crime, enhance international police cooperation, and uphold the rule of law on a global scale.

INTERPOL General Assembly
The INTERPOL General Assembly is composed of representatives from each of the member countries. Here’s how members are chosen and the qualifications for representation:

Qualifications for Membership:
Member Countries: Any sovereign state that is a member of INTERPOL is eligible to participate in the General Assembly. As per the last update, INTERPOL has 195 member countries.

 Recognized International Status: Member countries must have recognized international status as sovereign states to be eligible for membership in INTERPOL. This ensures that only countries with established governments and recognized sovereignty participate in the organization’s decision-making processes.

 Selection Process: The selection process for representatives to the INTERPOL General Assembly varies depending on the governance structure and legal framework of each member country. However, the following general principles typically apply:

  • Government Appointment: Representatives to the General Assembly are usually appointed by the government or relevant national authority of each member country. This ensures that delegates are authorized to represent their respective countries and negotiate on behalf of their governments.
  • Law Enforcement Background: Representatives to the General Assembly often have a background in law enforcement, diplomacy, or international relations. This expertise enables delegates to contribute effectively to discussions on matters related to international police cooperation and crime prevention.
  • Diplomatic Credentials: Delegates to the General Assembly may be accredited as diplomats or official representatives of their countries, depending on the diplomatic protocols and requirements of the host country where the General Assembly is convened.
  • Rotational Basis: In some cases, member countries may rotate their representatives to the General Assembly periodically to ensure broad participation and diverse perspectives in the decision-making process.

Thus, the selection process for representatives to the INTERPOL General Assembly aims to ensure that member countries are effectively represented and that delegates possess the necessary qualifications and authority to contribute to the organization’s objectives and activities.

(This article is curated with the support of AI tools)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here