The International Criminal Police Organization, better known as Interpol, is an inter-governmental organization with 194 member countries that helps police work together to make the world a safer place.
Interpol coordinates the sharing and accessing of data on crimes and criminals through all member countries, along with a range of technical support (databases with names, fingerprints and stolen passports), investigative support (forensics, analysis and assistance locating fugitives), field operations, training and networking. This expertise supports national efforts in combating crimes across three global areas; terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime. Since crimes evolve, they also keep up to date on the research and development in international crime and trends. All member countries are connected via a communications system called I-24/7 to contact each other and the General Secretariat, allowing access to Interpol’s databases and services in real-time, from both central and remote locations.
Run by the Secretary General, Interpol is staffed by both police and civilians and comprises a headquarters in Lyon, a global complex for innovation in Singapore, and several satellite offices in different regions. In each country, an INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) provides the central point of contact for the General Secretariat and other NCBs. An NCB is run by national police officials and usually sits in the government ministry responsible for policing. The General Assembly is the governing body and it brings all countries together once a year to make decisions.