The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) was established in 1923 in Vienna. Switzerland is one of its founding members. A multilateral agreement between 190 national criminal police authorities forms INTERPOL’s legal basis. The organisational structure consists of three organs: the General Assembly, the Executive Committee, and the General Secretariat. INTERPOL is headquartered in Lyon.
INTERPOL’s three core tasks are the global dissemination of criminal police information, the operation of databases, and the operative support of its member states. INTERPOL’s statutes form the basis for its activities. Its aim is to ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities within the limits of member states‘ national laws and in the spirit of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The organisation also aims to establish and develop institutions that can contribute to preventing and suppressing ordinary crime. It is strictly forbidden for INTERPOL to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial character. Each member country is required to designate a National Central Bureau (NCB).
The Federal Office of Police (fedpol) is Switzerland’s designated NCB. Its co-operation with INTERPOL is based on Articles 350-353 of the Swiss Criminal Code and on the Ordinance of the National Central Bureau INTERPOL Switzerland dated 1 December 1986.