|International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL|
|Logo of the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL.|
|Formed||7 September 1923|
|Annual budget||€60 million (2011)
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Countries||190 member states|
|Governing body||Interpol General Assembly|
|Constituting instrument||ICPO-INTERPOL Constitution and General Regulations|
|National Central Bureaus||190|
Coordinates: The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO, French: Organisation internationale de Police Criminelle – OIPC), widely known as INTERPOL, is an intergovernmental organization facilitating international police cooperation. It was established as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) in 1923 and adopted its telegraphic address as its common name in 1956.
Its membership of 190 countries provides a budget of around €60 million through annual contributions. The organization's headquarters is in Lyon, France. It is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations by member states. In 2011, the Interpol General Secretariat employed a staff of 673 representing 93 member countries. Its current Secretary-General is Ronald Noble, a former United States Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement. Succeeding Khoo Boon Hui, its current President is Deputy Central Director of the French Judicial Police Mireille Balestrazzi.
In order to maintain as politically neutral a role as possible, Interpol's constitution forbids it to undertake any interventions or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial nature. Its work focuses primarily on public safety, terrorism, organized crime, crimes against humanity, environmental crime, genocide, war crimes, piracy, illicit traffic in works of art, illicit drug production, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property crime and corruption.
In the first part of the 20th century, several efforts were taken to formalize international police cooperation, but they initially failed. Among these efforts were the First International Criminal Police Congress in Monaco in 1914 and the International Police Conference in New York in 1922. The Monaco Congress failed because it was organized by legal experts and political officials, not by police professionals, while the New York Conference failed to attract international attention. In 1923, another initiative was taken at the International Criminal Police Congress in Vienna where the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) was founded as the direct forerunner of Interpol. Founding members were police from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria, Belgium, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia. The United States did not join Interpol until 1938, although a US police officer unofficially attended the 1923 congress. Police from the United Kingdom joined in 1928.
Following the Anschluss (Austria's annexation by Germany) in 1938, the organization fell under the control of Nazi Germany, and the Commission's headquarters were eventually moved to Berlin in 1942. From 1938 to 1945, the presidents of Interpol included Otto Steinhäusl, Reinhard Heydrich, Arthur Nebe, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner. All were generals in the SS, and Kaltenbrunner was the highest ranking SS officer executed after the Nuremberg Trial.
After the end of World War II in 1945, the organization was revived as the International Criminal Police Organization by European Allies of World War II officials from Belgium, France, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Its new headquarters were established in Saint-Cloud, a town on the outskirts of Paris. They remained there until 1989, when they were moved to their present location in, Lyon, France.
In July 2010, former Interpol President Jackie Selebi was found guilty of corruption by the South African High Court in Johannesburg for accepting bribes worth €156,000 from a drug trafficker. After being charged in January 2008, Selebi resigned as president of Interpol and was put on extended leave as National Police Commissioner of South Africa.. He was replaced by Arturo Herrera Verdugo, the National Commissioner of Investigations Police of Chile and former vice president for the American Zone, who remained acting president until October 2008 and the appointment of Khoo Boon Hui.
On November 8, 2012, the 81st INTERPOL General Assembly closed with the election of Deputy Central Director of the French Judicial Police Mireille Ballestrazzi as the new president of the organization. She is Interpol's first female president.
The role of Interpol is defined by the general provisions of its constitution.
Article 2 states that its role is:
- To ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities within the limits of the laws existing in the different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- To establish and develop all institutions likely to contribute effectively to the prevention and suppression of ordinary law crimes.
Article 3 states
It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
Interpol differs from most law-enforcement agencies — agents do not make arrests themselves, and there is no single Interpol jail where criminals are taken. The agency functions as an administrative liaison between the law-enforcement agencies of the member countries, providing communications and database assistance. This is vital when fighting international crime because language, cultural and bureaucratic differences can make it difficult for officers of different nations to work together. For example, if ICE and FBI special agents track a terrorist to Italy, they may not know whom to contact in the Polizia di Stato, if the Carabinieri have jurisdiction over some aspect of the case, or who in the Italian government needs to be notified of the ICE/FBI's involvement. ICE and FBI can contact the Interpol National Central Bureau in Italy, which will act as a liaison between the United States and Italian law-enforcement agencies.
Interpol's databases help law enforcement see the big picture of international crime. While other agencies have their own extensive crime databases, the information rarely extends beyond one nation's borders. Interpol can track criminals and crime trends around the world. They maintain collections of fingerprints and mug shots, lists of wanted persons, DNA samples and travel documents. Their lost and stolen travel document database alone contains more than 12 million records. They also analyze all these data and release information on crime trends to the member countries.
A secure worldwide communications network allows Interpol agents and member countries to contact each other at any time. Known as I-24/7, the network offers constant access to Interpol's databases. While the National Central Bureaus are the primary access sites to the network, some member countries have expanded it to key areas such as airports and border access points. Member countries can also access each other's criminal databases via the I-24/7 system.
In the event of an international disaster, terrorist attack or assassination, Interpol can send an incident response team. This team can offer a range of expertise and database access to assist with victim identification, suspect identification and the dissemination of information to other nations' law enforcement agencies. In addition, at the request of local authorities, they can act as a central command and logistics operation to coordinate other law enforcement agencies involved in a case. Such teams were deployed 16 times in 2011. Interpol began issuing its own passport in 2009 with hopes that member states would remove visa requirements for individuals traveling for Interpol business, thereby improving response times.
In 2011 Interpol's income was €60 million, of which 83% comprised statutory contributions by member countries and 13% income from externally funded projects, private foundations and commercial enterprises. From 2004 to 2010 Interpol's external auditors have been the Cour des comptes.
Despite its stance of political neutrality, the agency has been criticized for its role in some arrests which critics contend have been politically motivated, such as the arrest of Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari by Malaysian police on 9 February 2012 for allegedly insulting Muhammad and his subsequent deportation to Saudi Arabia on 12 February 2012, where he may face the death penalty over charges of apostasy due to these alleged insults. Interpol, however, later denied its involvement in the arrest, notwithstanding the Malaysian police's assertion to the contrary.
The current emblem of Interpol was adopted in 1950 and according to their website has the following symbolism:
- the globe indicates worldwide activity
- the olive branches represent peace
- the sword represents police action
- the scales signify justice
Member states and sub-bureaus 
Sub-bureaus shown in italics.
Non-member countries of note 
Secretaries-general and presidents 
Secretaries-general since organization's inception in 1923:
Presidents since organization's inception in 1923:
|William Leonard Higgitt||1972–1976|
|Jesús Espigares Mira||2000–2004|
|Arturo Herrera Verdugo||acting president until the General Assembly in Saint Petersburg in October 2008, and candidate for the President on that General Assembly|
|Khoo Boon Hui||Oct 2008–2012|
|Mireille Balestrazzi||Nov 2012–present|
See also 
- Interpol passport
- Europol, a similar EU-wide organization.
- Intelligence assessment
- International Criminal Court
- Interpol Terrorism Watch List
- Diplomatic Security Service
- UN Police
- "2011 Annual Report". Interpol. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2011". Interpol. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "About INTERPOL". Interpol.int. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- ICPO-INTERPOL Constitution and General Regulations. ICPO constitution, article 3.
- "Interpol timeline". Interpol.int. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- "Interpol members and dates of membership". Interpol.int. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Interpol Member States: The United States". interpol.int. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- "Interpol Member States: The United Kingdom". interpol.int. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Designing Police: Interpol and the Study of Change in International Organizations (vid. p. 608)". International Studies Quarterly. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- "Ex-S Africa police chief convicted – Africa". Al Jazeera English. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- "Interpol President Jackie Selebi resigns from post". Interpol.int. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- "Election of new President Mireille Ballestrazzi". Interpol.int. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Interpol Constitution". Interpol website. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- 2008 Annual Report, PDF, Pages 15 & 45 of 52 Total. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- "INTERPOL issues its first ever passports". Interpol.int. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- "Appointment of Interpol External Auditor". Interpol website. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- "Questions and Answers". Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
- "Interpol reacts to ICIJ story". ICIJ. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- Saudi detained in Malaysia for insulting Prophet tweet. BBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Interpol accused after journalist arrested over Muhammad tweet. The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Malaysia deports Saudi journalist for tweets about prophet Muhammad. The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Malaysia deports Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari. BBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Interpol|
- Interpol – Official website
- Deflem, Mathieu. 2000. "Bureaucratization and Social Control: Historical Foundations of International Policing." Law & Society Review 34(3):601–640.
- Deflem, Mathieu. 2002. "The Logic of Nazification: The Case of the International Criminal Police Commission (Interpol)." International Journal of Comparative Sociology 43(1):21–44.
- Deflem, Mathieu, and Lindsay C. Maybin. 2005. "Interpol and the Policing of International Terrorism: Developments and Dynamics since September 11." Pp. 175–191 in Terrorism: Research, Readings, & Realities, edited by Lynne L. Snowden and Brad Whitsel. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005.
- Barnett, Michael, and Coleman, Liv. 2005. "Designing Police: Interpol and the Study of Change in International Organizations." International Studies Quarterly 49(4):593–620.
- Deflem, Mathieu. 2009. "Interpol." pp. 179–181 in The Sage Dictionary of Policing, edited by Alison Wakefield and Jenny Fleming. London: Sage Publications.
- Deflem, Mathieu. 2012. "Interpol." pp. 956–958 in The Encyclopedia of Global Studies, edited by Helmut K. Anheier and Mark Juergensmayer. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.