Person ‘wanted’; Interpol Red Notice for extradition
An Interpol red notice is used to locate a person who is wanted for the purpose of extradition.
There are in fact eight different coloured notices issued by Interpol, providing different information about people. A Red Notice is only issued when there is a valid national arrest warrant or other judicial warrant. It does not give the power to arrest someone, it simply informs other countries that a person is wanted in the requesting country, either to be prosecuted or to serve a sentence.
Once Interpol receives a request, and they are satisfied that everything is in order, the notice is published. It serves to alert police around the world and makes, for example, international travel very difficult.
Some countries choose to make some information publicly available. The UK does not, but you can find a list of UK citizens wanted elsewhere in the world.
Around 8,000 Red Notices are published each year, for a wide variety of offences, not just very serious ones. However, it cannot be used to search for people wanted for politically motivated offences for example; offences of a political, religious, military or racial character are specifically excluded from Interpol’s remit.
John Howey, Senior Solicitor
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written, which may affect the information and advice given therein.