Although the first International Criminal Police Congress took place in 1914 and the International Criminal Police Commission emerged nine years later, the agency came under Nazi control in 1938 and was effectively moribund until being revived after the Second World War. In 1956, the ICPC adopted a new constitution and new name as The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol.
Headquartered in Lyon, France, it is now the world’s largest police organisation, with seven regional bureaux and a national central bureau in 194 member states. Operating under the motto, “Connecting police for a safer world,” it has evolved to focus on trans-national terrorism, cybercrime and organised crime, with a broad mandate encompassing almost every sort of crime from child pornography to drug trafficking, political corruption and white-collar criminality.
Although it is not a law enforcement agency itself, Interpol facilitates cooperation among national law enforcers through its communications networks and databases of criminals.
In 2017, Interpol launched the Global Policing Goals to “focus the collective efforts of the international law enforcement community to create a safer and more sustainable world for future generations”, as part of its strategy to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace and security.