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Transborder Criminal Enforcement

This guide helps people who are researching transborder criminal law enforcement issues.


INTERPOL is the world's largest international police organization.  Its mission and activities are independent of other international organizations and driven by its Member States.

According to INTERPOL, the organization enables police in 192 member countries to work together to fight international crime. INTERPOL provides a range of policing expertise and capabilities, supporting three main crime programmes: Counter-terrorism, Cybercrime, and Organized and emerging crime.

In 1914, the first International Criminal Police Congress was held to discuss centralized international criminal records and extradition proceedings.  In 1923, the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) was established.  In 1956, ICPC become the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and the organization becomes autonomous.

INTERPOL is an international organization with administrative capabilities to help countries work together to fight international crime.  Interpol does not have executive powers, so Interpol official do not arrest suspects or act without the approval of national authorities.  In this regard, Interpol is more of an administrative body then an executive body.  Interpol does provide tools and support to its Member States which can help the national authorities fight transborder crime.


The General Assembly is INTERPOL's supreme governing body.  Each member state appoints a delegate to the General Assembly.  It meets annually for all important decisions such as finances, resources, and policy.

Elected by the General Assembly and headed by the President of the Organization, the Executive Committee provides guidance to the organization and oversees the implementation of the decisions made at the General Assembly.

Day to Day Operations

The day to day operations is carried out by the General Secretariat in Lyon, France and National Central Bureaus (NCBs) located in every Interpol member country.

The General Secretariat - Run by the General Secretary and operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year.  The Secretariat is supported by the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore, 7 regional bureaus around the world with 3 Special Representatives at the African Union, the European Union, and the United Nations.

National Central Bureau (NCB) - Each NCB is a central contact point for all INTERPOL activity, and the NCB links the national police with the global INTERPOL network.


Commission for the Control of INTERPOL's Files (CCF) ensures that the processing of personal data is in line with INTERPOL's rules.  The CCF is impartial and independent.  In 2003, it gained accreditation and recognition as a data-protection authority with the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners.