A founding member
Austria was one of the founding members of INTERPOL in 1923, and hosted the first General Assembly of the Organization that year. One hundred years on, Austria’s central location in Europe still makes it a key country for regional security.
Fighting organized crime in Austria
Given its central location in Europe, Austria faces the challenges of being a transit and sometimes destination country for organized crime groups operating in areas such as drugs and arms trafficking, people smuggling and human trafficking.
The transnational nature of these crime areas and their links with crime networks around the world make the role of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Austria fundamental to maintaining national and regional security.
INTERPOL in Austria
The NCB for Austria is part of the Austrian Criminal Intelligence Service (CIS) at the Federal Ministry of the Interior. INTERPOL Vienna police officers work at the following NCB crime desks:
- Crime strategy;
- International police cooperation;
- Investigations, organized crime and general crime;
- Crime analysis;
- CID support services;
- Economic crime.
By providing access to INTERPOL’s policing tools and services, the NCB helps police officers tackle crime across Austria.
NCB Vienna is a regular partner in INTERPOL-led global police operations in the region including action to combat migrant smuggling and stolen motor vehicles as well as trafficking of firearms and drugs.
Law enforcement in Austria
Law enforcement services in Austria are provided by the Directorate General for Public Security, a department of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
The main body of law enforcement is the Federal Police (“Bundespolizei”), which provides police service through nine regional directorates, serving all nine of Austria’s federal states (including the capital of Vienna).
The Federal Police is itself divided into many separate branches, ranging from uniformed patrol service, criminal investigation and community policing to special forces like K9-units, SWAT, Anti-Terror-Components, Intelligence Services and many more.
Next to the Federal Police, the Directorate-General for Public Security is divided into the following services:
- Directorate State Protection and Intelligence Service - protects the public against terrorism and combats extremism and espionage;
- Austrian Criminal Intelligence Service (Bundeskriminalamt) - provides police support to all criminal investigation services such as fugitive pursuit, a central surveillance unit and undercover investigation;
- Directorate for Organization, Resources and Crisis Management;
- Directorate for Special Units - Home for Austria’s elite police units, such as the “Einsatzkommando COBRA” (special intervention unit), the Aerial Police and other special units, including a specialized bomb squad, surveillance and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) unit.