Celebrating International Day of Police Cooperation: INTERPOL's Legacy and Successes07 Sep 2023
7th September 2023 marks the inaugural day of International Day of Police Cooperation, a day dedicated to celebrating the tireless efforts of law enforcement agencies worldwide, emphasizing the importance of cross-border collaborations in maintaining global security and countering transnational crime.
This momentous occasion is followed by UN designating 7th September as the official date for celebrating International Day of Police Cooperation.
The Inception and Growth of INTERPOL
The inception of INTERPOL can be traced back to the 1st International Police Congress held in Monaco in 1914, where 14 nations convened to discuss the need for stronger police cooperation with a specific focus on conducting successful investigations, identifying fugitives, and facilitating extraditions.
Due to the outbreak of World War I, these discussions remained unimplemented until the 2nd International Criminal Police Congress held on 7th September 1923. 20 countries gathered in Vienna, Austria and agreed on establishing the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPS), now known as INTERPOL. The primary objectives of the Commission were to focus their efforts on 5 main themes; establishing police-to-police communication, facilitating arrest and extradition of offenders, creating standardized terminology, establishing specialized offices to address the concern of counterfeit money, cheques, and passports, and establishing fingerprinting techniques and records.
Over the years, ICPC evolved into the primary hub coordinating law enforcement collaboration efforts. In 1956, the organization’s name was formally changed to International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO – INTERPOL). By 1967, the organization’s membership increased to 100 member countries, a number that has now grown to 195 as of 2022.
International Day of Police Cooperation
The International Day of Police Cooperation celebrates the successes achieved through global law enforcement cooperation and serves as a reminder of the ongoing need for such collaboration. In an era marked by technological advancements and rising transnational crimes, the role of international organizations such as INTERPOL has become indispensable. INTERPOL works towards bridging the gap between member countries, allowing them to work together effectively in combatting various criminal activities.
INTERPOL’s collective achievements speak volumes about the power of international police cooperation in the pursuit of creating a safer world. For instance, in 2023, coordinating efforts between several member countries led to the dismantling of a phishing platform that victimized over 70,000 people across 43 countries. In August of the same year, Africa Cyber Surge Operation 2 led to the shutdown of cyber networks running $40 million scams in multiple African countries, resulting in 14 ar rests.
Additionally, through international efforts, human trafficking networks have faced significant setbacks. INTERPOL’s “Operation Flash-Waka” involved 54 countries and led to the arrest of over 1,000 subjects in addition to the rescue of 823 victims of trafficking.
As we celebrate the first-ever International Day of Police Cooperation, it is important to acknowledge INTERPOL's remarkable history and the recent achievements made possible by collaborations among the international law enforcement community. The world faces ever-evolving challenges, but the spirit of cooperation among countries and their commitment to creating a safer world for all remains stronger than ever. International police cooperation, exemplified by INTERPOL, continues to be a beacon of hope in the fight against transnational crime.