LYON, France – Today marks the 30th anniversary of the official inauguration by French President François Mitterrand of the INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyon.
The close ties between the international police cooperation organization and its host country France were highlighted during a ceremony attended by the Mayor of Lyon, Gérard Collomb.
The changes and progress made over the past 30 years were also pointed out as the Organization prepares to celebrate its centenary in 2023.
Mr Collomb said INTERPOL’s presence had made Lyon the world capital of police cooperation, building on an already rich and ancient history.
“INTERPOL’s work is fundamental in the fight against terrorism, cybercrime and in the fight against all forms of crime, including drug trafficking and human trafficking.
“Yes, we are proud to have INTERPOL in Lyon and we strongly support its extension plans.”
Welcoming Mr Collomb, Secretary General Jürgen Stock said that Lyon had become much more than a host city for the General Secretariat – it had become a home for the staff and their families.
“While INTERPOL has gradually opened up to the rest of the world by establishing a physical presence in Africa, the Americas and Asia, the Organization remains firmly anchored in Lyon.
“It is from our General Secretariat headquarters here in Lyon that we work day in, day out, to make the world a safer place,” added the INTERPOL chief, who also provided some key statistics to highlight the Organization’s growth.
Over the past 30 years, the number of INTERPOL member countries has increased to 194 countries, compared with 150 in 1989. The Organization has also seen an explosion in the growth and use of its global police network.
Today, INTERPOL has 18 specialized databases containing more than 100 million police files, consulted some 230 times a second.
The Organization had 254 officials when it moved to Lyon, but today there are more than 1,000 members of staff representing 107 countries.
In 2018 alone, almost 9,000 people came to Lyon to attend one of the many conferences, operational meetings, training sessions and events organized that year by INTERPOL.