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Federal police forces set to merge

The Local · 9 Dec 2010, 15:43

Published: 09 Dec 2010 15:43 GMT+01:00

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An expert panel led by former domestic intelligence chief Eckart Werthebach recommended on Thursday that the federal office of criminal investigation (BKA) be merged with the federal police (BPOL) to create a new mega-force.

The third pillar of the security architecture, the German customs administration, would remain separate and fall under the responsibility of the Finance Ministry.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière welcomed the recommendation and vowed to push ahead with the overhaul as quickly as possible. However he rejected suggestions that the new unified force be a German version of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“I don’t want a German FBI,” he said.

He said he didn’t want a US-style force that could overrule local authorities, as this would not be compatible with Germany’s federalist principles. Furthermore, the FBI acted “partly as an intelligence service with international associations,” which would breach Germany’s separation of surveillance and enforcement.

He said the overhaul would not involve staff cuts. BPOL has 41,000 staff and the BKA 5,300.

BPOL, which evolved out of what used to be called the border police, currently has the roles of securing borders, guarding federal buildings, embassies and airports, and providing anti-terrorism squads and sky marshalls. The BKA is an investigative force that pursues crimes that are national and international in scope, such as organised crime. Most regular investigative police work is done by the various state police forces.

The newly named Polizei des Bundes will merge the two.

Werthebach, former president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz), said there had been “no serious security flaws” in the disparate branches. Therefore the panel had resolved to change the services by evolution rather than revolution.

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The new federal police will made up of four pillars: a criminal investigative branch, a preventative force, a special operations and technology division, and an administrative wing that looks after staffing and the budget.

De Maizière vowed to set about creating the reforms quickly and said he hoped to have them in place by the end of the current legislative period in 2013. His department would examine the recommendations by spring and then make a decision about how and when to make the changes.

DAPD/The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:58 December 9, 2010 by Johnne
Yeeeeeeeeh!!!! another oportunity for bullying the citizens :-))
17:22 December 9, 2010 by DinhoPilot

Dude, if keep the law there is not no reason to fear!
17:37 December 9, 2010 by xyz_79
WOW! They look beautiful and dressed to kill....That's good news, so the old man can go to sleep knowing it is a safe world...Ahhh!
17:56 December 9, 2010 by mixxim
Like the UK borders agency, the government thinks reorganisation will lull the populace into thinking that something is being done.
19:11 December 9, 2010 by Johnne

You should worry more about that; and oh! before I go..check your gramms before writing :-))
05:48 December 10, 2010 by parografik
Why does he need to confer with his grandmother before making emoticons?
12:15 December 10, 2010 by tallady
The merger of the BKA and BPOL is the correct move good organizations,, keeping German customs separate is also a good thing,they belong under finance,I am sure the BKA and BPOL are not disappointed ,if you have ever been to German customs I am sure you would concur.
13:47 December 10, 2010 by DinhoPilot

Thank you for the grammar remark. I noticed it before but my pointer was all over submit and there is no edit! But dude, seriously, behave yourself boy!

09:20 December 11, 2010 by Johnne
@DinhoPilot is that a warning? or an advise?? first of all I´m not your dude or your boy, you need to address people with respect if you want to be respected. I think everyone knows that the German Police are one of the best in the world but people know they are indeed bullies! they are very rude & impolite when addressing citizens so that already make them bullies cos a lot is going on in the mind of a rude & impolite Police Officer. he/she must feel untouchable.
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