Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


Interpol is the acronym for the International Criminal Police Organization. It is an international organization of police forces from 176 countries designed to coordinate International Law enforcement. Interpol furthers mutual aid and cooperation among the police forces of its national members in order to prevent and inhibit crime.

Interpol was established in 1923, with the General Secretariat—the international headquarters—located in Lyons, France. Delegates from member countries meet once a year to discuss police problems and admit new members. Each member nation maintains and staffs its own national central bureau. In the United States, the bureau is located in Washington, D.C. The U.S. bureau is under the direction and control of the Departments of Justice and of the Treasury, and is staffed by personnel from those departments.

The General Secretariat is supported by membership dues. Its budget is based on the Swiss franc, since that is a stable currency. Approximately five percent of the total budget is paid by the United States.

Interpol is forbidden by its constitution to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial character. Each national central bureau coordinates and responds to inquiries received from local and foreign law enforcement agencies. Each bureau also arranges for resolutions adopted by Interpol to be applied at the national level, and works to ensure that the basic principles laid down by Interpol's constitution are followed. National central bureaus are linked electronically to the Interpol General Secretariat's main database in Lyons.

The organization uses a system of international notices (circulars) to inform peace officers in the national bureaus of cases where known criminals abandon their usual residence and travel abroad surreptitiously. The color coded circulars are distributed by Interpol Headquarters to member countries within twenty days of their issue, or, in urgent cases, the same day. In the case of a fugitive whose arrest is requested and whose Extradition is likely, a wanted notice containing details of the arrest warrant and the offense committed is circulated.

In addition, Interpol conducts investigations of criminal activities, including drug trafficking, Terrorism, counterfeiting, Smuggling, Organized Crime, and new forms of economic crime. It conducts criminal history checks for visa and import permits and traces vehicle registration and ownership. Interpol also performs humanitarian services such as locating missing persons and providing notification of serious illness or death.


International Criminal Police Organization, an association of over 100 national police forces, devoted chiefly to fighting international crime.
References in periodicals archive ?
Interpol has issued Lebanon a notice to carry out arrest warrants against the four members of Hezbollah indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Hariri's case.
The INTERPOL Chief's visit also allowed him to emphasize INTERPOL's ongoing efforts to help bring about the arrest of a number of fugitives subject to Red Notices issued at Libya's request, including Colonel Gaddafi's former director of military intelligence, Abdullah Al-Senussi, who was extradited to Tripoli from Mauritania in September last year as the most recent example of their success.
Already the world leader in international police information exchange, the creation of this group of experts will see Interpol become the reference point for all security elements linked to hosting a major event, sporting or otherwise," Noble added.
We are here together to find other areas of collaboration aimed at identifying tools that enable Interpol and law enforcement networks worldwide to provide further support for our national and regional security.
Before the visit, the Palestinian team attended a workshop in Ramallah, organised by Eupol Copps to explain them the structure, role and the mission of the Interpol, it concluded.
The Red Corner notices against Omani nationals were issued by the General Secretariat of Interpol in Lyon, France, on the recommendation of the Royal Oman Police in Muscat.
The request for Interpol Red Notices will significantly restrict the ability of all three men to cross international borders and is a powerful tool to help in their location and arrest", Interpol chief Ronald Noble said.
An Interpol spokeswoman said yesterday that it does not conduct independent investigations and has not received any information or request for assistance in relation to the allegations.
Opener Success, from the self-titled fourth album, was typical Interpol - eerie and transfixing, but possibly lacking energy early in the set.
Police have confiscated more than $1m worth of rhino horns and ivory and shut down an illegal ivory factory in a sweep across southern Africa, the international police agency Interpol reports.
5) Then, it examines various measures undertaken by the United States and INTERPOL to combat terrorism.
An Interpol memorandum stressed the database is 'updated through timely and detailed investigative reporting from member countries and their police services'.