INTERPOL - THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE ORGANIZATION
Interpol started life as the ICPC (The International Criminal Police Commission) on the 7th September 1923 after
two other attempts at forming an international police group had failed as early as 1914. In 1956, it adopted its
telegraphic short name or address as the common name of the organisation.
Interpol now boasts 190 member states and is the second largest intergovernmental organisation in number of
participating nations only to the United Nations. It's international headquarters are in Lyon and has a staff of
just over 700. In order to keep Interpol as politically neutral a possible, it is restrained by its constitution
from getting involved with activities of a political, military, religious or racial nature.
This means that it concentrates on organised crime, terrorism, crimes against humanity, human and drug
trafficking and corruption especially. Interpol was founded by Austria, Belgium, China, Egypt, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia. The United
Kingdom joined in 1928 and the United States in 1938.
When Germany annexed Austria, Interpol fell under German control and its headquarters were moved to Berlin in
1942. From 1938 to 1945, all the presidents of Interpol were SS Generals. The last one, Kaltenbrunner was executed
after a trial at Nuremberg. After 1945, Interpol was revived in its original guise by Belgium, France, the
Scandinavian countries and the UK and its offices were moved to Paris, where they remained until 1989.
Article 2 of Interpol's constitution 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
Wikipedia states: 'Interpol differs from most law-enforcement agencies—agents do not make arrests themselves,
and there is no single Interpol jail where criminals are taken. The agency functions as an administrative liaison
between the law-enforcement agencies of the member countries, providing communications and database
And: 'Interpol's databases help law enforcement see the big picture of international crime. While other agencies
have their own extensive crime databases, the information rarely extends beyond one nation's borders. Interpol can
track criminals and crime trends around the world. They maintain collections of fingerprints and face photos, lists
of wanted persons, DNA samples and travel documents. Their lost and stolen travel document database alone contains
more than 12 million records. They also analyze all these data and release information on crime trends to the
It is with this in mind that I used Interpol as a controlling body for the information gathered by the various
international police forces in countries where the frictional 'Dead Centre Agency' had assisted in criminal
activities. I don't actually know whether they provide the facilities to help international police forces to form
groups as I describe them in my book 'Dead Centre'.
The emblem which has been used by Interpol since 1950 has four elements:
the Globe symbolises worldwide activity
the olive branches indicate peaceful intentions
the sword represents police action
the scales signify equal justice for all.