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The LKA building in Berlin

Landeskriminalamt - (LKA) is the German term for a State Criminal Police Office in Germany. LKAs are part of the state police which, in turn, is directly subordinate to the respective state ministry of the interior.



LKAs supervise police operations aimed at preventing and investigating criminal offences, and coordinate investigations of serious crime involving more than one Präsidium (regional headquarters). They can take over investigative responsibility in cases of serious crime, e.g. drug trafficking, organized crime, environmental and white-collar crime or extremist and terrorist offences.

Crime analysis[edit]

Each Landeskriminalamt is also a modern central office for information, analyzing police intelligence from home and abroad and transmitting it to police stations. It collates data on criminal offences and offenders in crime statistics that are used as a basis for new strategies, policy decisions and legislative initiatives. It also analyzes certain offense areas, evaluates the police measures executed in each case, forecasts expected tendencies and describes events in annual reports.


The LKA maintains forensic equipment for central examination of evidence using the latest scientific methods (e.g. DNA analysis, Automatic Fingerprint Identification System).

Special missions[edit]

LKAs also coordinate support for local police in hostage, kidnapping and blackmail situations and provide experts in such cases, e.g., the SWAT team Spezialeinsatzkommando, the negotiation group or bomb disposal experts. It is also the central office for physical security technology and crime prevention, and coordinates state anti-drug programs.

North-Rhine Westphalia[edit]

For example, the LKA in North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) has six operational departments:

  • Department 1 conducts investigations and analysis of organised crime.
  • Department 2 is responsible for state security and investigations of political extremism.
  • Department 3 deals with the analysis and evaluation of crime and works on crime prevention and crime control projects.
  • Department 4 provides operational support. It coordinates the missions, training and equipment for highly specialised operational units, it gives advice to the police commanders at major incidents and provides support to international law enforcement agencies. The department hosts the Central Information Service for Sport Events and the NRW Police Aviation Group.
  • Department 5 is the NRW Forensic Institute. It performs all forensic tests needed for prosecution. About 200 scientists and experts perform roughly 25,000 tests per year.
  • Department 6 has special technical support units that assist other law enforcement agencies with technical or special know-how. This may occur if investigations become difficult e.g. scenes of fire, accidents (explosives, explosive devices) or computer searches etc. The department also has a surveillance team and a target search unit.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]