Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
International Criminal Police Organization - Interpol
- This article is about the International Criminal Police Organization - Interpol. For the New York City based indie rock band, see Interpol (band).
The International Criminal Police Organization – Interpol (ICPO-Interpol) was created in 1923 to assist international criminal police co-operation. Interpol, once merely the organization's telegraphic address, was officially incorporated into the organization's new name adopted in 1956, prior to which it was known as the International Criminal Police Commission.
Interpol is the world's second largest international organization, after the United Nations; it currently has 182 member countries. It is financed by annual contributions from its member countries, which total about EUR 30 million; however, Europol receives €50 million annually. The Organization is headquartered in Lyon, France. The currently serving President of Interpol is Mr. Jackie Selebi, Commissioner of the South African Police. The current Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble , formerly of the US Treasury Department, is the first non-European to hold the position.
Because of the politically neutral role Interpol must play, its Constitution forbids any involvement in crimes that do not overlap several member countries, or any political, military, religious, or racial crimes. Its work centers primarily on public safety and terrorism, organized crime, illicit drug production and drug trafficking, weapons smuggling , trafficking in human beings, money laundering, child pornography, financial and high-tech crime, and corruption.
In October 2001, the Interpol General Secretariat employed a staff of 384, representing 54 different countries. Of those, 112 were police officers, 112 civilians. That same month, Interpol began to change from a 9-to-5 agency to a 24-7 agency, making its work easier and more efficient.
In 2001, some 1,400 people were arrested or located as a result of Interpol notices.
Each member country maintains a National Central Bureau (NCB) staffed by national law enforcement officers. The NCB is the designated contact point for the General Secretariat of Interpol, regional bureaus and other member countries requiring assistance with overseas investigations and the location and apprehension of fugitives. This is especially of importance in countries where there exist many law-enforcement agencies: this central bureau is a unique point of contact for foreign entities, which may not understand the complexity of the law-enforcement system of the country they attempt to contact. For instance, the NCB for the United States of America is at the FBI. The NCB will then ensure proper transmission of information with the correct agency.
Interpol maintains a large database charting unsolved crimes and both convicted and alleged criminals. At any time, a member nation has access to specific sections of the database and its police forces are encouraged to check information held by Interpol whenever a major crime is committed. The rationale behind this is that drugs traffickers and similar criminals have international ties, and so it is likely that crimes will extend beyond political boundaries.
A member nation's police force can contact one or more member nations by sending a message relayed through Interpol.
Contrary to what was featured in some works of fiction, Interpol officers do not directly conduct enquiries in member countries.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Republic of Macedonia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
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