If you have questions which are not addressed here, please send an email to the General Secretariat. Please be advised that due to the large number of queries received by INTERPOL a response may not be provided immediately.

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FAQs

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT INTERPOL

What is INTERPOL?

INTERPOL is the world’s largest police organization with 190 member countries. Its primary role is to assist law enforcement agencies around the world in combating all forms of transnational crime and terrorism.

Read more about INTERPOL.

Does INTERPOL send agents around the world to arrest people?

No, the INTERPOL General Secretariat does not send officers into countries to arrest individuals. All investigations and arrests in each INTERPOL member country are carried out by the national police in accordance with national laws. Each member country has an INTERPOL National Central Bureau(NCB) which is staffed by highly-trained law enforcement officers and acts as a designated contact point for the General Secretariat and other member countries.

Any arrests are made by national law enforcement in accordance with national laws.

How do I confirm if someone is wanted by INTERPOL?

INTERPOL does not issue arrest warrants. A member country may request the INTERPOL General Secretariat to issue a Red Notice (an international alert for a wanted person) on the basis of a valid national arrest warrant.

If INTERPOL is asked to issue a Red Notice in response to an arrest warrant, the information will be sent out to all our 190 member countries, unless otherwise indicated.

Member countries have the option of having an abridged version of the Red Notice posted on INTERPOL’s website. If no Red Notice is published, this is either because one has not been requested or issued for that person, or the requesting country has asked that it be restricted to law enforcement use only.

Requests for information about an investigation or fugitive should be directed to the country concerned.

View wanted persons

INTERPOL member countries

Read more about INTERPOL Notices

How do I confirm if a person subject to an INTERPOL Red Notice has been arrested?

Any arrest in any INTERPOL member country is carried out by the national police. Confirmation of an arrest should come from the national authorities where the arrest was made.

How do I see how many notices have been issued by a country?

Not all notices are made public, however details of the publicly available Yellow and Red Notices can be viewed via the map on INTERPOL worldwide.

How is INTERPOL governed and funded?

All decisions regarding the activities of INTERPOL are made by the General Assembly. This is the Organization’s supreme governing body which meets once a year and operates on a one country, one vote system, with all votes carrying equal weight and no right to veto.

Under a system adopted by the General Assembly in 2001, each INTERPOL member country must make a compulsory annual statutory contribution calculated on the basis of their ability to pay.

Extra-budgetary contributions from both the public and private sectors may also be received in accordance with the Organization’s Rules and regulations.

Read more about INTERPOL's structure and governance

Is INTERPOL part of the United Nations?

No, INTERPOL is an independent organization and not a unit or part of any other national or international body. INTERPOL works closely with a range of international partners such as the United Nations and the European Union and has established liaison offices in New York and Brussels.

What is the difference between INTERPOL and Europol?

INTERPOL and Europol are two totally separate entities, each providing different types of support to their member countries. A cooperation agreement between INTERPOL and Europol was signed in 2001 and each organization has a representative working at their respective headquarters.

Media release (27/08/2007): INTERPOL opens liaison office at Europol headquarters

Does INTERPOL publish crime statistics?

INTERPOL's International Crime Statistics are no longer being collected from member countries and previous statistics are no longer published. 

The decision to remove the statistics was taken as some users and some members of the media were making comparisons between countries based on these statistics, when different collection methods make such comparisons problematic.

For enquiries relating to crime statistics please contact the national authorities of the country or countries of interest.

ADVICE FOR POLICE OFFICERS

I am a police officer requiring overseas assistance for an investigation, what should I do?

Each INTERPOL member country has a National Central Bureau (NCB) staffed by national police officers working under national laws. Any requests for international assistance in investigations should in the first instance be made to the NCB in your country.

How do I join INTERPOL?

Police officers working at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France are seconded by their national authorities.

Any request to be seconded to INTERPOL should be made to the national authorities.

ADVICE FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME

How do I report a crime to INTERPOL?

If you have information about a crime being planned or that has been committed, or if you are the victim of a crime, you should report this to your local or national police authorities. They can then access the appropriate INTERPOL channels if required. The INTERPOL General Secretariat can deal only with information provided by the appropriate law enforcement agencies, not members of the public.

Am I the victim of online fraud?

There are many common frauds circulating over the Internet, including fraudulent lotteries, so-called ‘419’ scams, fake inheritance claims, online purchases scams, online dating and chat-room confidence tricks. If you believe you are the victim of one of the above, please contact your local or national police authorities.

WORKING FOR INTERPOL

How do I join INTERPOL?

All law enforcement officers working at the INTERPOL General Secretariat are seconded from their national agencies. Police officers are not directly recruited to INTERPOL. Enquiries for careers in law enforcement should be made to your national police authorities.

Vacancies at the General Secretariat for non-police positions can be found in the recruitment section.

INTERPOL offers continuous openings on its internship programme, with placements lasting from two to 11 months.

View current vacancies

FRAUDULENT USE OF INTERPOL’S NAME

I have been contacted by someone claiming to work for INTERPOL. How can I check this is genuine?

The INTERPOL General Secretariat does not contact members of the public. If you have received an email from an individual claiming to work for INTERPOL, it should be considered fake.

Read more about email scams falsely using the INTERPOL name.