Federal Criminal Police Office (Germany)
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|Federal Criminal Police Office
|Main logo of the BKA|
|Formed||March 15, 1951|
|Preceding agency||Criminal Police Office for the British Zone|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Legal jurisdiction||As per operations jurisdiction.|
|Constituting instrument||Law on the Establishment of a Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA Law)|
|Agency executive||Jörg Ziercke, President|
|Reference for infobox data|
The Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (in German: Bundeskriminalamt (help·info) or BKA (help·info)) is a national investigative police agency in Germany and falls directly under the Federal Ministry of the Interior. 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 Bureau of Criminal Investigation", "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 (these state investigation bureaus are known as Landeskriminalamt, plural Landeskriminalämter) and to conduct investigations in serious crimes, especially when other countries are involved.
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, similar to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the United States.
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, the German criminal AFIS 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 past missions include several airplane crashes, the Eschede train disaster and the 2004 Indian Ocean 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 (1965–1971)
- 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 (since February 26, 2004)
Treptowers in Berlin with offices of the BKA
See also 
- "The Bundeskriminalamt – The Profile". Bundeskriminalamt – Public Relations. Retrieved 2008-04-07.[dead link]
- OSCE entry on BKA http://polis.osce.org/countries/details.php?item_id=17#Country_Profile_Section_213
- Official Website of The Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (English) - (German)