Vatican City State

  • INTERPOL Vatican
  • Member since :
    7 October 2008
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Vatican City State

Vatican City State Gendarmerie

Operations and Control Room

Many law enforcement services in the Vatican are provided by the Vatican City State Gendarmerie (Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano).  Headed by an Inspector General, the force of 130 Italian officers sits structurally in the Security Services and Civil Defence Directorate.


  • Accident prevention;
  • Crime investigation;
  • Financial and commercial regulations enforcement;
  • Public order;
  • State security;
  • Traffic control;
  • Judicial services;
  • Protection of the Pope.


  • Rapid Response Group - two operational units under the direct supervision of the Gendarmerie Commander:
    • Gruppo Intervento Rapido(GIR) - special weapons and tactics team;
    • Hazardous Devices Operation Unit.

Their mandate is to:

  • Counter threats to national security;
  • Gather and analyse crime intelligence;
  • Gather counter terrorism intelligence with a view to preventive action;
  • Provide technical and logistical support for investigations;
  • Manage high-risk situations and to ensure safety.

Operations and Control Room:

Created in 2000 and operational 24 hours a day, an operations and control centre coordinates law enforcement action required in emergency and crisis situations.  It is equipped with state-of-the-art alarm and video surveillance systems.

Gendarmerie Music Band:

Founded in 2007, the Band is made up of 100 volunteer conservatory graduates who come from Italian military bands across the country.

Pontifical Swiss Guard

The Pontifical Swiss Guard also provides security services.  Part of Rome’s Catholic Church, the Swiss Guard is a separate body, independent of the Gendarmerie.   The Swiss Guard safeguards the city entrances and is in charge of the personal safety of the Pope, dignitaries and papal buildings.   

INTERPOL Vatican State City

The INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) for the Vatican State City is part of the Gendarmerie.  Staffed with five officers, the NCB’s mandate is to :

  • Collect and share information on crime which could adversely affect domestic and international security;
  • Identify methods for tackling and disbanding organized crime groups;
  • Exchange security information with INTERPOL colleagues worldwide for the benefit of international police investigations.
INTERPOL Vatican in action
10 April 2014

Human trafficking an open wound on society, Pope Francis tells conference

VATICAN CITY – Addressing the second Combating Human Trafficking conference attended by police chiefs from around the world, Pope Francis described human trafficking as ‘a crime against humanity’ and ‘an open wound on the body of contemporary society’.The two-day conference (9 and 10 April) organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wale...
09 April 2014

INTERPOL Chief tells human trafficking conference ‘we are allies in global fight to protect human life and dignity’

VATICAN CITY – INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble has told an international conference on combating human trafficking that no matter the difference in mandates, nationalities or uniforms, ‘we are allies in a global fight to protect human life and dignity’.Addressing the second Combating Human Trafficking conference, entitled ‘Church and law enforc...
09 November 2012

Pope receives global law enforcement leaders: Commends INTERPOL efforts in combating crime

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican City State has welcomed police officials from across the world with Pope Benedict XVI receiving delegates and INTERPOL officials who attended the Organization’s 81st General Assembly in Rome.Pope Benedict XVI received the visitors at a special audience in his capacity as the head of state of one the world’s smallest independent...

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