Can INTERPOL Make Arrests Anywhere?

No matter what you have seen in movies, INTERPOL doesn’t have agents or INTERPOL solicitors carrying guns, breaking doors, or arresting subjects. Additionally, it doesn’t issue international arrest warrants. Instead, it was created to improve global police cooperation amongst its 195 member states. Hence doesn’t have the power to arrest or detain anybody.

INTERPOL organizes an international notice system that allows police in the member states to share critical information. In addition, the agency publishes Red Notices, which is part of this system. A Red Notice is a request by a member state to other states to help find and arrest persons involved in criminal matters so they can be deported.

The Red Notice list continues to grow and is found on INTERPOL’s official website. While INTERPOL disseminates the Red Notice, the requesting member state seeks help to find a wanted person. However, it is fundamental to note that this is a voluntary system.

No member state is legally forced to arrest anybody based on the Red Notice or an INTERPOL diffusion. The agency notes that each member state can decide the legal value they give Red Notices within their borders.

Which Are INTERPOL’s Member States?

INTERPOL has 195 member countries, making this the largest police organization globally. These countries work with the General Secretariat to share critical data related to police investigations. In addition, each member country has an INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) that links its national police to the global network.

The NCB is responsible for making Red Notice requests and checking that the requests are properly prepared. It also ensures that the member countries follow INTERPOL’s rules when uploading the information into the agency’s system.

To know if your country is a member state, check INTERPOL’s official website, where all the countries are outlined.

What Are INTERPOL’s Crime Programs?

INTERPOL provides a range of policing expertise and capabilities only available to its member countries. Since crimes evolve, INTERPOL keeps an eye on the future through thorough research and development in global crimes and trends. It supports three main crime programs as outlined;

· Counter-terrorism

INTERPOL assists the member state in preventing and disrupting any terrorist activities by helping identify the individuals, networks, and associates involved.

· Organized and emerging crimes

INTERPOL assists in targeting and disrupting international criminal networks. It helps in identifying, analyzing, and responding to any criminal threats.

· Cybercrime

INTERPOL assists in preventing and investigating cybercrime, which is rampant nowadays. Also, it helps make cyberspace safe for its member countries.

Today’s major crimes are increasingly global; states must coordinate to ensure global security. Since INTERPOL is a global organization, it can easily provide a platform for cooperation. In addition, it enables police to work directly, even between countries that don’t have diplomatic relations.

The agency holds that all actions are politically neutral and are taken within the limits of existing laws of the member states.


INTERPOL doesn’t have the power to make arrests anywhere in the world. Instead, it helps member states by offering investigative support, such as removing red notice, forensics, and analysis, while helping locate fugitives worldwide. The member states have the jurisdictions as per their country’s laws on the value placed on the Red Notice list within their borders.

Kendall Coffey
Senior Partner
Mr. Coffey is a former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Florida (1993-1996); and served as Chair of, the Southern District Conference, Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission (April 2009 – January 2017).

Can INTERPOL Make Arrests FAQ ?!

Can INTERPOL make arrests in USA?
No, INTERPOL does not have the authority to make arrests. INTERPOL can issue a Red Notice to seek the location and arrest of a person wanted by a judicial jurisdiction or an international tribunal. However, the actual arrest is made by law enforcement agencies in the country where the person is located.
Can INTERPOL make arrests in UK?
No, INTERPOL itself cannot make arrests in the UK or any other country. The role of INTERPOL is to facilitate international police cooperation. If a person is wanted internationally, INTERPOL can issue a Red Notice but the actual arrest is the responsibility of local law enforcement.
Does INTERPOL have jurisdiction in UAE?
INTERPOL does not have jurisdiction in any country, including the UAE. INTERPOL's role is to support and assist law enforcement agencies in its 194 member countries, rather than exercise jurisdiction.
Can Interpol operate in Indonesia?
Yes, INTERPOL can operate in Indonesia, as it is one of INTERPOL's 194 member countries. However, operation here refers to cooperation and support, not the direct enforcement of law. The enforcement of law is carried out by the Indonesian National Police.
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