Fun Facts About Interpol
1. Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization, O.I.P.C., ICPO) was founded in Austria in 1923 to facilitate cross-border police cooperation. The word ‘Interpol’, contraction of ‘international police’, was chosen in 1946 as the telegraphic address.
2. Interpol is the world’s third largest international organization, after the United Nations and FIFA, with 186 member countries financed by annual contributions of about €41.7 million from its member countries.
3. It was located in Germany from 1942 to 1946, and its staff and facilities were used as an information gathering unit for the Gestapo. After World War II, the agency was reconstituted and headquartered in Paris. Today the organization is headquartered in Lyon, France.
4. The United Nations recognized Interpol as an intergovernmental organization in 1971.
Its principal services are to provide its member countries with information on the whereabouts of international criminals, to held seminars on crime detection science, and to facilitate the apprehension of criminals.
5. Contrary to the popular belief, Interpol officers do not operate directly in member countries and are not involved in the actual law enforcement. Interpol’s main role is to pass the information.
6. Interpol maintains a large database of unsolved crimes, convicted and alleged criminals. Member nations may access specific sections of this database at any time, while its police forces are encouraged to check information collected by Interpol whenever a major crime is committed.
7. In 2003 Interpol established Command and Co-ordination Centre, enabling the organization to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
8. Since 2002 Interpol has also been maintaining a database of lost and stolen identification and travel documents, and by 2006 this database contained over ten million identification items reported lost or stolen.
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