How does INTERPOL actually operate?
The movie/TV show depiction of Interpol doesn’t have any basis in reality.
All the real Interpol does is to maintain a database. Basically, if you’re a law enforcement organization and you have a warrant for someone’s arrest, but think they’ve fled to another country, then you can put that warrant into Interpol’s database.
Since most countries’ immigration authority checks people coming across their border against that database, people on that database get flagged when they try to cross a border. Its then up to the individual country to make a determination as to whether they want to do anything with the individual or not.
The process for getting a warrant into Interpol’s database is complex and the vast majority of Interpol employees are basically just customer service representatives who walk members of law enforcement through that process. The remainder are server engineers who keep the database running and help other law enforcement agencies tap into it.
Other than entering and removing warrants from their database and occasionally holding conferences, Interpol doesn’t really do much else.
INTERPOL is like a big helper for police officers from different countries. When a police officer in one country needs help to solve a problem or catch a bad person who went to another country, they ask INTERPOL for assistance.
INTERPOL has a big computer system that stores information about criminals and crimes from all around the world. They use this information to help police officers find the bad guys and keep people safe.
So, imagine INTERPOL as a group of friends that helps each other whenever someone needs help with a problem that is too big to handle alone. They share important information and work together to make the world a safer place.
You can think of Interpol as an information clearing house that keeps tabs on international bad actors.