Federal Criminal Police Office (Germany)
The Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

: or ) is a national
Federal republic
A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. A federation is the central government. The states in a federation also maintain the federation...

 investigative police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 agency in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and falls directly under the Federal Ministry of the Interior
Federal Ministry of the Interior (Germany)
The Federal Ministry of the Interior is a ministry of the German federal government. Its main office is in Berlin, with a secondary seat in Bonn. The current minister of the interior is Dr...

 . As law enforcement in Germany is vested in the states, the BKA only becomes involved in cases of international organised crime or when requested by the respective federal state authorities or the federal minister of the interior. The federal prosecutor can also direct it to investigate cases of special public interest.

The BKA should not be confused with the Austrian Federal Investigation Bureau which is also called Bundeskriminalamt but is abbreviated BK.

Other translations of Bundeskriminalamt include "Federal Criminality Agency", "Federal Criminal Investigation Bureau", "Federal Investigation Bureau", and "Federal Crime Investigation Agency".


Its responsibilities are the coordination of law enforcement in cooperation with criminal investigation bureaus of the individual states of Germany
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 (these state investigation bureaus are known as Landeskriminalamt
Landeskriminalamt - is the German term for a State Investigation Bureau in Germany. LKAs are part of the state police which, in turn, is directly subordinate to the respective state ministry of the interior.-Investigations:...

, plural Landeskriminalämter) and to conduct investigations in serious crimes, especially when other countries are involved.

It is headquartered in Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden is a city in southwest Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 275,400 inhabitants, plus approximately 10,000 United States citizens...

 and occupies three different locations in the city, one of which is the former Lindsey Air Station.

Outside of Wiesbaden, the BKA has branch offices in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

 and Meckenheim. The BKA is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of the Interior
Federal Ministry of the Interior (Germany)
The Federal Ministry of the Interior is a ministry of the German federal government. Its main office is in Berlin, with a secondary seat in Bonn. The current minister of the interior is Dr...


Approximately 5,200 BKA personnel operate nationwide.

The BKA's missions include:
  • Coordinating cooperation between the federation and state police forces (especially state criminal investigation authorities) and with foreign investigative authorities.
  • Collecting and analyzing criminal intelligence, managing the INPOL database of all important crimes and criminals.
  • Investigating cases of terrorism or other areas of political motivated crime, as well as narcotics, weapons and financial/economical crime.
  • Protection of federal witnesses.
  • Acting as a clearing house for identifying and cataloging images and information on victims of child sexual exploitation
    Sexual exploitation
    Sexual exploitation may refer to:*Sexual slavery*Sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian response...

    , similar to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
    National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a private, non-profit organization established in 1984 by the United States Congress.-Establishment and overview:...

     in the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...


The BKA provides assistance to the states in forensic matters, research and organized crime investigations. It is Germany's national central bureau for the European Police Office (Europol), Schengen Information System
Schengen Information System
The Schengen Information System , is a governmental database used by European countries to maintain and distribute information on individuals and pieces of property of interest. The intended uses of this system are for national security, border control and law enforcement purposes...

, the German criminal AFIS
Automated Fingerprint Identification System
Automated fingerprint identification is the process of automatically matching one or many unknown fingerprints against a database of known and unknown prints...

 and International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).

The DVI-Team (in German: Identifizierungskommission or more common IDKO) is an event driven organisation of mainly forensic specialists dedicated to identification of disaster victims. The DVI's lineup of past missions include several airplane crashes, the Eschede train disaster
Eschede train disaster
The Eschede train disaster was the world's deadliest high-speed train accident. It occurred on 3 June 1998, near the village of Eschede in the Celle district of Lower Saxony, Germany. The toll of 101 people dead and 88 injured surpassed the 1971 Dahlerau train disaster as the deadliest accident in...

 and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...


The Close Protection Group protects the members of Germany's constitutional bodies and their foreign guests of state and is often the most visible part of the BKA. Specially selected and trained officers with special equipment and vehicles provide round-the-clock personal security to those they protect. The Protection Group is now headquartered in Berlin.


  • Dr. Max Hagemann (1951–1952)
  • Dr. Hanns Jess (1952–1955)
  • Reinhard Dullien (1955–1964)
  • Paul Dickopf
    Paul Dickopf
    Paulinus Dickopf was member of the German Federal Criminal Police Office between 1965 and 1971 raising to the position of president. Under the Nazi government of Adolf Hitler he was a member of the Sturmabteilung and the Schutzstaffel. He was also the President of Interpol from 1968 -1972...

  • Horst Herold (1971 – March 1981)
  • Heinrich Boge (March 1981–1990)
  • Hans-Ludwig Zachert (1990 – April 1996)
  • Klaus Ulrich Kersten (April 1996 – February 26, 2004)
  • Jörg Ziercke
    Jörg Ziercke
    Jörg Ziercke has been the chief commissioner of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany since 2004.-Career:...

    (since February 26, 2004)

External links

  • http://www.bka.de
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