Red Notices

Criminals can flee to another country to try to evade justice. A Red Notice alerts police worldwide about internationally wanted fugitives.

What is a Red Notice?

A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.

It contains two main types of information:

  • Information to identify the wanted person, such as their name, date of birth, nationality, hair and eye colour, photographs and fingerprints if available.
  • Information related to the crime they are wanted for, which can typically be murder, rape, child abuse or armed robbery.

Red Notices are published by INTERPOL at the request of a member country, and must comply with INTERPOL’s Constitution and Rules. A Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant.

A Red Notice is an international wanted persons notice, but it is not an arrest warrant.

How many Red Notices are there?

There are currently approximately 69,270 valid Red Notices, of which some 7,500 are public.

The majority of Red Notices are restricted to law enforcement use only.

In some cases, for example where the public’s help is needed to locate an individual or they pose a threat to public safety, a public extract of the Red Notice is published on this website.

In 2021, INTERPOL issued 10,776 Red Notices.

Who are the subjects of Red Notices?

Red Notices are issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence. This follows judicial proceedings in the country issuing the request. This is not always the home country of the individual, but the country where the crime was committed.

When a person is sought for prosecution, they have not been convicted and should be considered innocent until proven guilty. A person sought to serve a sentence means they have been found guilty by a court in the issuing country.

What checks are done before a Red Notice is issued?

Every Red Notice request is checked by a specialised task force to ensure it is compliant with our rules. This review takes into account information available at the time of publication.

Whenever new and relevant information is brought to the attention of the General Secretariat after a Red Notice has been issued, the task force re-examines the case.

Red Notice
Red Notice

Offences for which a Red Notice may not be issued

Article 83 of INTERPOL’s Rules on the Processing of Data (RPD) sets out the specific conditions for the publication of Red Notices.

Red Notices may be published only if the offence concerned is a serious ordinary-law crime. They may not be published for the following categories of offences:

  • offences that in various countries raise controversial issues relating to behavioural or cultural norms;
  • offences relating to family/private matters;
  • offences originating from a violation of laws or regulations of an administrative nature or deriving from private disputes, unless the criminal activity is aimed at facilitating a serious crime or is suspected of being connected to organized crime.

The General Secretariat maintains a non-exhaustive list of specific offences that fall within the above categories.

The current list of offences for which a Red Notice may not be published can be downloaded in the Related Documents section below.

Are the individuals wanted by INTERPOL?

No, they are wanted by a country or an international tribunal.

INTERPOL cannot compel the law enforcement authorities in any country to arrest someone who is the subject of a Red Notice.

Each member country decides what legal value it gives to a Red Notice and the authority of their law enforcement officers to make arrests.

Why are Red Notices important?

They are used to simultaneously alert police in all our member countries about internationally wanted fugitives. Police in other countries can then be on the watch for them and use the Red Notice to support extradition proceedings.

Red Notices help bring fugitives to justice, sometimes many years after the original crime was committed.

What should I do if I have information on an individual?

Please inform your local police authorities and/or the INTERPOL General Secretariat.

Can I find out if a Red Notice has been issued for me?

You can contact the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF), an independent body. Applications to the CCF are free of charge and treated confidentially.