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About Interpol:

  • The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.

  • It is the world’s largest international police organization.
  • It is headquartered in Lyon, France, with seven regional bureaus worldwide, and a National Central Bureau in all 195 member states.
  • Interpol was conceived during the first International Criminal Police Congress in 1914, which brought officials from 24 countries to discuss cooperation in law enforcement.
  • It was founded on 7 September 1923 at the close of the five-day 1923 Congress session in Vienna as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC).
  • Interpol provides investigative support, expertise and training to law enforcement worldwide, focusing on three major areas of transnational crime : terrorism, cybercrime and organized crime.
  • Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including Crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking and production, political corruption, intellectual property infringement, as well as white-collar crime.
  • The agency also facilitates cooperation among national law enforcement institutions through criminal databases and communications networks.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Interpol is itself not a law enforcement agency.
  • It is governed by a General Assembly composed of all member countries, which elects the executive committee and the President to supervise and implement Interpol’s policies and administration.
  • Day-to-day operations are carried out by the General Secretariat, comprising around 1,000 personnel from over 100 countries, including both police and civilians.
  • The agency operates in four languages: Arabic, English, French and Spanish.
  • Interpol is not a supranational law enforcement agency and has no agents with arresting powers.
  • Instead, it is an international organization that functions as a network of law enforcement agencies from different countries.

The role of Interpol is defined by the general provisions of its constitution:

Article 2 states that its role is:

  1. To ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities within the limits of the laws existing in the different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  2. To establish and develop all institutions likely to contribute effectively to the prevention and suppression of ordinary law crimes.

Article 3 states:

It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

Interpol Notices:

  • INTERPOL Notices are international requests for cooperation or alerts allowing police in member countries to share critical crime-related information.
  • Notices are issued by the General Secretariat at the request of a member country’s INTERPOL National Central Bureau.
  • Notices can also be issued at the request of International Criminal Tribunals and the International Criminal Court to seek persons wanted for committing crimes within their jurisdiction, notably genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
  • They can also be issued at the request of the United Nations in relation to the implementation of sanctions imposed by the Security Council.
  • Most Notices are for police use only and are not available to the public.
  • However, an extract of the Notice can be published on this site if the requesting country wishes to alert the public or seek their help.
  • All United Nations Special Notices are public.

Types of Notice:

Red Notice: To seek the location and arrest of persons wanted for prosecution or to serve a sentence.

Yellow Notice: To help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify persons who are unable to identify themselves.

Blue Notice: To collect additional information about a person’s identity, location or activities in relation to a criminal investigation.

Black Notice: To seek information on unidentified bodies.

Green Notice: To provide warning about a person’s criminal activities, where the person is considered to be a possible threat to public safety.

Orange Notice: To warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.

Purple Notice: To seek or provide information on modus operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals.

INTERPOL–United Nations Security Council Special Notice: Issued for entities and individuals who are the targets of UN Security Council Sanctions Committees.

Syllabus: Prelims

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