The Functions of the INTERPOL, Free Essay for Students

Published: 2022-04-18
The Functions of the INTERPOL, Free Essay for Students
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Intelligence services Police
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 883 words
8 min read

INTERPOL is the world's largest police international organization that has brought together police forces from the 192 member countries. The main purpose of the organization is to enable cooperation of police in the member countries in ensuring the safety of the people around the world. The first idea of an international police unit was proposed in 1914 in Monaco in the first ever International Criminal Police Congress. In 1923, this idea was implemented, but it was not until 1956 when the official name INTERPOL was used. The headquarters are located in Lyon, Paris. The organization enables police from different member states to work together in the fight against three types of crime that continue to threaten lives of many people around the world.

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One of the main functions of the INTERPOL is to fight international terrorism especially in the countries prone to attacks. Various measures to detect and handle potential nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological are implemented by countries with the help of the organization. For instance, in 1993, the Indian government sought the help of the INTERPOL to arrest Dawood Ibrahim after a series of blasts in Mumbai.

Fighting Organized Crime

Various criminal organizations in the world operate in multiple countries. Some of the activities of these organized criminal organizations include drugs and human trafficking. INTERPOL helps fight organized crime by the issuance of notices against global criminals, enhancing communications between police in different countries, and sharing of criminal data and records.

Cyber Crime

With the advancement of technology in the 21st century, cyber-crime has risen as a new type of challenge. The effect of cyber-crime threatens government secrets, the financial systems, and public and private organizations alike. INTERPOL is at the forefront in the fight against cyber-crime activities in the world.

Structure and Functions of the Governing Body

The organization's activities are driven by the 192 member countries within a clear framework of governing bodies that include a General Assembly, an Executive Committee, General Secretariat, and National Central Bureaus. The General Assembly is made up of representatives from each member state. It is the most supreme governing body of the INTERPOL, and all the members meet once a year to make all the major decisions that affect its general policy, the resources the organization needs, and working methods (Andriani, 2007). The members of the Executive Committee of the INTERPOL are also elected by the General Assembly. Most of the decisions by the Assembly are made through a simple majority vote where each member state represents one vote.

The Executive Committee has 13 members including the President of the Organization with three Vice-Presidents and nine delegates. All the 13 members of the EC are from different countries. The General Assembly elects the President every four years. The main function of the EC is to set the organizational policies and direction. It does this by supervising the execution of the decisions made by the General Assembly, preparing agenda for GA meetings, and monitoring the Secretary-General (Martha, 2010).

The General Secretariat's primary function is to enhance cooperation of police within a region to effectively tackle common crime issues. Accordingly, the Secretariat has seven regional offices globally located in Argentina, Kenya, Thailand, Cameron, Zimbabwe, El Salvador, and Cote d Ivoire. The headquarters of the Secretariat is in Lyon, France.

The National Central Bureaus are the link between the member states with the INTERPOL. Each NCB in a member country links its national police with the organization's global network. NCBs serve as the national contact points for INTERPOL activities in a country. NCBs were proposed because of the cross-border nature of organized criminal syndicates (Fooner, 2013). NCBs are staffed by highly trained police officers to contribute to the organization's criminal database and facilitate cooperation on cross-border investigations and arrests.

Problems and Challenges Faced by the Interpol

One of the foundations of INTERPOL was based on the freedom of the organization to operate in the member countries without the fear of political interference. Again, INTERPOL is not supposed to be involved in political matters of the member states. Unfortunately, this has continued to be the case over the years as autocratic members violate this freedom and continue to use INTERPOL to harass their enemies. Anderson (2009), gives the 2008 case of Ilya Katsnelson as an example. The American business executive was arrested in Germany and held in a maximum security prison for two months because of a Red Notice requested by the Russian regime as an example.

Another problem faced by INTERPOL was mentioned by Fooner (2013), who observed that the organization's constitution does not have any provisions to reprimand the member states who refuse to cooperate in multinational; criminal investigations. Due to the difference of law enforcement systems by the member countries, some states refuse to co-operate with the INTERPOL and the organization is left with no choice but to give up its activities on such occasions. Martha (2010), proposes that INTERPOL should pass such provisions to make it more powerful and authoritative as the United Nations is on member countries.


Anderson, M. (2009). Policing the world: Interpol and the politics of international police co-operation. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Andriani, R. (2007). Interpol: The Front Lines of Global Cooperation. Crime and Justice International, 23(98), 4.

Bresler, F. S. (1992). Interpol. Vintage.

Fooner, M. (2013). Interpol: issues in world crime and international criminal justice. Springer.

Martha, R. S. J. (2010). The Legal Foundations of INTERPOL. Hart Pub.

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