The idea of INTERPOL was born in 1914 at the first International Criminal Police Congress, held in Monaco. This meeting brought together police officers and judicial representatives from 24 countries to find ways to cooperate on solving crimes, notably arrest and extradition procedures, identification techniques and the idea of centralized criminal records.
Over the past 100 years, cooperation among police forces internationally has become firmly grounded in practice as crimes and criminals have moved increasingly beyond national borders.
Officially created in 1923, INTERPOL – the International Criminal Police Organization – has seen its membership grow steadily over the years. Today, 190 member countries work together on a daily basis, using the databases, tools and secure communications systems that the Organization offers.
While its vision and mission remain in line with the original goals of the meeting in 1914, the Organization continues to evolve in response to the needs of its member countries, the emergence of new crime trends, and innovations in technology.
First International Criminal Police Congress held in Monaco. Police officers, lawyers and magistrates from 24 countries meet to discuss arrest procedures, identification techniques, centralized international criminal records and extradition proceedings.
Creation of the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) with headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on the initiative of Dr Johannes Schober, president of the Vienna Police.
Wanted persons notices first published in INTERPOL’s International Public Safety Journal.
The General Assembly, held in Berlin, proposes that each country establish a central point of contact within its police structure: the forerunner of the National Central Bureau (NCB).
Specialized departments established to deal with currency counterfeiting, criminal records and passport forgery.
Following the death of Dr Schober, new statutes put in place creating the post of Secretary General. The first was Austrian Police Commissioner Oskar Dressler
The Nazis assume control after deposing of President Michael Skubl. Most countries stop participating and ICPC effectively ceases to exist as an international organization.
Belgium leads the rebuilding of the organization after the end of World War II. A new headquarters set up in Paris, and ‘INTERPOL’ chosen as the organization’s telegraphic address. Democratic process to elect the President and Executive Committee instituted.
Present INTERPOL colour-coded notice system initiated and first Red Notices for persons wanted internationally issued.
Following the adoption of a modernized constitution, the ICPC becomes the International Criminal Police Organization-INTERPOL, abbreviated to ICPO–INTERPOL or just INTERPOL. The Organization becomes autonomous by collecting dues from member countries and relying on investments as the main means of support.
An independent body created to monitor the implementation of INTERPOL’s internal rules in relation to data protection. This will become the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL Files in 2003.
The X.400 communication system launched, enabling NCBs to send electronic messages to each other and to the General Secretariat directly.
As part of a programme of regionalization the General Assembly adopts guidelines for the establishment and operation of Regional Bureaus.
The I-24/7 web-based communication system launched, significantly improving NCBs’ access to INTERPOL’s databases and services. Canada is the first country to connect to the system.
Database of stolen and lost travel documents launched.
Official inauguration of the Command and Coordination Centre at the General Secretariat, enabling the organization to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
INTERPOL liaison office inaugurated at the United Nations in New York and first Special Representative appointed.
First INTERPOL-United Nations Special Notices issued for individuals subject to UN sanctions against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Technology known as MIND/FIND allows frontline officers to connect directly to INTERPOL's systems.