The idea of INTERPOL was born in 1914 at the first International Criminal Police Congress, held in Monaco. Officially created in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission, the Organization became known as INTERPOL in 1956.


The General Assembly, held in Berlin, proposes that each country establish a central point of contact within its police structure: the forerunner of the National Central Bureau (NCB).


Resolution to establish NCBs adopted.


Specialized departments established to deal with currency counterfeiting, criminal records and passport forgery.


Following the death of Dr Schober, new statutes put in place creating the post of Secretary General. The first was Austrian Police Commissioner Oskar Dressler.


The Organization's international radio network is launched, providing an independent telecommunications system solely for the use of the criminal police authorities at national level.


The Nazis assume control after deposing of President Michael Skubl. Most countries stop participating and ICPC effectively ceases to exist as an international organization.


ICPC falls completely under German control and is relocated to Berlin.


Belgium leads the rebuilding of the organization after the end of World War II. A new headquarters set up in Paris, and ‘INTERPOL’ chosen as the organization’s telegraphic address. Democratic process to elect the President and Executive Committee instituted.

Present INTERPOL colour-coded notice system initiated and first Red Notices for persons wanted internationally issued.


The United Nations grants INTERPOL consultative status as a non-governmental organization.


Following the adoption of a modernized constitution, the ICPC becomes the International Criminal Police Organization-INTERPOL, abbreviated to ICPO–INTERPOL or just INTERPOL. The Organization becomes autonomous by collecting dues from member countries and relying on investments as the main means of support.


Contributions of member countries revised and financial regulations adopted.


First regional conference held, in Monrovia, Liberia.


The General Assembly sets out formal responsibilities and operating policies for NCBs.


The United Nations recognizes INTERPOL as an intergovernmental organization.


A Headquarters Agreement with France recognizes INTERPOL as an international organization.


An independent body created to monitor the implementation of INTERPOL’s internal rules in relation to data protection. This will become the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL Files in 2003.


INTERPOL moves its General Secretariat to Lyon, France.


The X.400 communication system launched, enabling NCBs to send electronic messages to each other and to the General Secretariat directly.


An automated search facility for remote searches of INTERPOL databases introduced.


As part of a programme of regionalization the General Assembly adopts guidelines for the establishment and operation of Regional Bureaus.


INTERPOL Criminal Information System (ICIS) database created.


The I-24/7 web-based communication system launched, significantly improving NCBs’ access to INTERPOL’s databases and services. Canada is the first country to connect to the system.

Database of stolen and lost travel documents launched.


Official inauguration of the Command and Coordination Centre at the General Secretariat, enabling the organization to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


INTERPOL liaison office inaugurated at the United Nations in New York and first Special Representative appointed.


First INTERPOL-United Nations Special Notices issued for individuals subject to UN sanctions against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Technology known as MIND/FIND allows frontline officers to connect directly to INTERPOL's systems.


Official opening of the Office of the Special Representative to the European Union in Brussels.


The INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) will be a cutting-edge research and development facility. Construction of the premises is under way in Singapore and in 2013 the highest point of the building structure was put in place.

The vision – what INTERPOL aspires to achieve

"Connecting police for a safer world"

Our vision is that of a world where each and every law enforcement professional will be able through INTERPOL to securely communicate, share and access vital police information whenever and wherever needed, ensuring the safety of the world's citizens. We constantly provide and promote innovative and cutting‐edge solutions to global challenges in policing and security.

The mission – what INTERPOL does to achieve its vision

"Preventing and fighting crime through enhanced cooperation and innovation on police and security matters"

Interpol facilitate the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal law enforcement authorities. We ensure that police services can communicate securely with each other around the world. We enable global access to police data and information. We provide operational support on specific priority crime areas. We foster continuous improvement in the capacity of police to prevent and fight crime and the development of knowledge and skills necessary for effective international policing. We strive for innovation at all times, in the areas of police and security matters.


Canada joined INTERPOL in 1949 and the RCMP was given the responsibility to operate the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Ottawa. The NCB is part of the International Policing Branch. It is staffed by police and civilian RCMP members, public service employees, and police officers seconded from other Canadian police agencies. Current Canadian police partners include Sûreté du Québec, Ontario Provincial Police, and the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (Montreal City Police Service).

Some of INTERPOL canada's services include:

  • Access to INTERPOL's criminal databases and the ability to conduct international checks on criminal records, passports, vehicle identification numbers, firearms etc.;
  • Issuing INTERPOL Notices to all member countries to help locate a fugitive, a missing person or to gather information on a subject;
  • Coordinating and providing assistance in locating/deporting/extraditing foreign fugitives on Canadian soil and Canadian fugitives abroad;
  • Providing up-to-date information to police investigators on legislation pertaining to criminal investigations and on Canadian requirements for pre-extradition.