Bahnpolizei

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Bahnpolizei is the term in Germany, Austria and the German-speaking parts of Switzerland for the Railway police.

Germany[edit]

Bahnpolizei was the name of the former Railway police of West Germany and fell under the jurisdiction of the Deutsche Bundesbahn federal railway company. Bahnpolizei officers investigated trespassing on rail property, assaults against passengers, terrorism threats targeting the railway, arson, tagging of graffiti on railroad rolling stock or buildings, signal vandalism, pickpocketing, ticket fraud, robbery and theft of personal belongings, baggage or freight. They also investigated train/vehicle collisions and hazardous materials releases.

In 1992 the railway security mission was transferred to the Bundesgrenzschutz which resulted in the merger of the Bahnpolizei into the Federal Border Guard Force. The BGS had already taken on these duties in 1990 for the territory of the former East Germany, replacing the former East German Transportpolizei. The Bundesgrenzschutz was then renamed the Bundespolizei (Federal Police) on July 1, 2005, and this force is currently responsible for security and passenger checks on the German railway system.

Switzerland[edit]

Switzerland never had a separate transport police because all rail employees had limited police authority. However, due to the introduction of trains with no conductors in the late 1990s, crime in trains increased and the Swiss Federal Railways rail company trained Bahnpolizei officers for its driver-only commuter trains.

In 2002 the SBB-CFF-FFS merged its Bahnpolizei force with the private security company Securitas AG and the resulting Securitrans is now the force that protects Switzerland's trains, passengers, rail property and rail workers. Beginning in 2011, the rail police of Switzerland are public employees, with all officers attending two years of police academy training with final certification.

Bahnpolizei officers don't carry firearms on board but they are armed with Monadnock PR-24 batons and pepper sprays as weapons, along with handcuffs for restrain options.

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