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Federal Criminal Police Office
Abbreviation BKA
Agency overview
Formed March 15, 1951
Preceding agency Criminal Police Office for the British Zone
Employees 5,200
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Legal jurisdiction As per operations jurisdiction.
Constituting instrument Law on the Establishment of a Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA Law)
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Wiesbaden
Agency executive Jörg Ziercke, President
Reference for infobox data[1]

The Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (in German: Bundeskriminalamt or BKA) is the national investigative police agency of Germany and falls directly under the Federal Ministry of the Interior [2]. It is comparable to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States, the central investigative departments of the French National Police, and the Australian Federal Police. It should not be confused with the Austrian Federal Investigation Bureau which is also called Bundeskriminalamt but is abbreviated BK.

BKA headquarters in Wiesbaden

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



The new forensic labs
Offices in Berlin with the joint counterterrorism center of Germany's security agencies
"Treptower" in Berlin with offices of the BKA

Its responsibilities are the coordination of law enforcement in cooperation with criminal investigation bureaux of the individual states of Germany (these state investigation bureaux are known as Landeskriminalamt, plural Landeskriminalämter) and to conduct investigations in serious crimes, especially when other countries are involved.

It is headquartered in Wiesbaden 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, Bonn and Meckenheim. The BKA is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

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, extremism, espionage, or economic and financial 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 only becomes involved in cases when requested by Land authorities or in cases involving two or more Länder. The federal prosecutor can also direct it to investigate cases of special public interest. The BKA also provides assistance to 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 Identifizierungskommision (abbrev. Idko, transl. identification commission) is an event driven organisation of mainly forensic specialists dedicated to identification of disaster victims. The Idko's lineup of 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)

Popular culture

  • Inspector Lunge, a BKA detective, is a character in the manga Monster.


External links

Coordinates: 50°05′52″N 8°14′45″E / 50.09778°N 8.24583°E / 50.09778; 8.24583

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