Police and Law Enforcement Agencies

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Introduction

The INTERPOL represents the largest police organization in the world consisting of about 186 member countries. The INTERPOL is therefore, a police organization whose main agenda is to promote cross border police cooperation. Its operations are funded by the member states, which is through the yearly contributions of approximately $59 million. In terms of international organizations, it is ranked second after the United Nations. Its headquarters is currently based in Lyon, France. It is distinguished from other international organizations since it does not participate in international politics, military actions, religious aspects and cultural concerns (Dunoff & Trachtman, 2009). The principle of survival of INTERPOL is based on extensive neutrality; implying that it primarily lays emphasis on issues concerning public safety, acts of terrorism, crimes concerning the environmental issues, serious offenses against humanity, cyber crimes, crimes relating to intellectual property, and other illegal activities that contravene the normal laws of its member states. INTERPOL also plays a significant role in enhancing international police collaboration even in scenarios where there is tainted diplomatic relations. Its operations are limited in accordance with the existing laws of a particular country, provided the laws are in line with the rule of international crime (Imhoff & Cutler, 1998).

History of the INTERPOL

One of the significant forces behind the establishment of the INTERPOL was the First International Police Congress. A number of police officers and key players of the criminal justice system such as lawyers, judges and magistrates, held a summit meeting in Monaco during 1914 to determine effective ways of arresting offenders. One of the key agendas of the meeting was to standardize identification techniques and procedures that were to be followed in the process of making arrests. The convention also wanted to streamline and create a centralized database of criminal records at the international level and the corresponding expatriation procedures. The onset of World War I deferred this idea. INTERPOL was first formed during 1923 in Austria, under the name International Criminal Police Commission. Its name was later changed to INTERPOL during 1956 (INRERPOL INT., 2011).

After the establishment of ICPC, developments were initiated towards the establishment of the National Central Bureaus during 1927. During 1930, specialized departments were established to deal with crimes of currency counterfeits and the imitation of passports. The Interpol launched its first international radio network in 1935. During the Nazi regime, the ICPC ceased to exist as an international society since German had taken control of it. It was however, revived after the end of World War II with its headquarters relocated to Paris. It was during this time that the color-coded system for issuing notices was initiated. During 1956, the ICPC was re branded as INTERPOL. It was recognized by the UN as an international Organization during 1971, and its headquarters was relocated to Lyon in 1989. The sub-regional Bureaus were established during 1995. Major operational advancements saw the establishment of the INTERPOL Criminal Information System in 1998, the Command and Coordination Center during 2003. During 2005, the Interpol launched collaborative efforts with the United Nations Security Council (INRERPOL INT., 2011).

Organizational structure of the INTERPOL

The organizational structure of the Interpol is bound by the multilateral police force agreement between the member countries. The Interpol consists of police organs from the member states; it has no police employees of its own but facilitates transnational police collaboration (INRERPOL INT., 2011). According to the constitution of the Interpol, its organizational structure consists of five main bodies:

a) General Assembly; which has the highest authority in the...
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