What is Interpol?

Introduction

What happens if a crime is committed and then the criminal flees the country? How do the police find the criminal? They find out with the help of INTERPOL. INTERPOL is a network of police forces from 190 countries all over the world.

INTERPOL's job is to help police in different countries work together to solve crimes that cross borders. Every member country has their own INTERPOL office, called a National Central Bureau (NCB), which connects that country's police force with the other members. They share information with each other and have access to a variety of high-tech tools and resources.

Working at INTERPOL

INTERPOL staff are a mix of police officers and civilians. Police officers are usually loaned by their home countries for a few years, and bring with them investigative knowledge in particular types of crime.

This brings valuable skills into INTERPOL and enables them to take back to their national police administrations experience of working in an international organization.

Civilians can also work for INTERPOL in departments such as Finance, Human Resources and Legal Affairs.

In total, there can be a total of 650 people from up to 90 different countries working at any one time at the INTERPOL General Secretariat, its Regional Bureaus and Liaison offices.

Knowledge of at least one of the Organization’s four official languages (Arabic, English, French and Spanish) is essential.

I-24/7

If you've ever watched a movie where the good guys "run fingerprints against all known databases" the chances are they are doing it via I-24/7. I-24/7 is INTERPOL's super secure network that links the member countries to each other and lets them search INTERPOL's international criminal databases. It's a bit like a private Internet just for police.

Police use a portal known as I-link to access I-24/7. Using I-link, they can view INTERPOL's international criminal information and can share alerts with other member countries.

CCC

The Command and Coordination Centre (CCC) is the central hub for INTERPOL's work. It has operations rooms in Lyon, France, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A third branch will open in future in Singapore. The CCC is manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by staff from all over the world and helps police with their work by sending messages, issuing notices and exchanging information

Notices

INTERPOL helps police forces around the world keep informed of international crimes via notices. Notices are a type of alert message that are sent to all member countries. They can be the "wanted" notices that you see in films but they can also be requests for information or warnings.