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Article The Fed­er­al Crim­i­nal Po­lice Of­fice

The Federal Criminal Police Office is Germany’s central criminal investigation agency. It coordinates federal and state cooperation in police investigations.

The federal structure of the Federal Republic of Germany gives the 16 federal states (Länder) the authority to maintain their own police forces within their territory, along with the right to pass legislation and exercise police authority. At the same time, the Basic Law provides for originary federal authority in central areas of law enforcement, in particular federal and state cooperation in police investigations, police information and intelligence systems, prevention of threats from international terrorism affecting more than one state and all international law enforcement.

To perform these tasks, the federal level enacts laws and has its own police forces. Due to this division of responsibilities, in addition to the 16 state police forces, Germany has federal police forces, one of which is the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).

Founded in 1951, the BKA is an executive agency of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, with offices in Berlin, Wiesbaden and Meckenheim. It is Germany’s central criminal investigation agency, with a staff of 5,500 in nearly 70 different occupations. Roughly half of the BKA staff are police detectives.



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