Focus: Crossing borders – Police on the way

Police on the way – an introduction
by Heiner Busch
It is not only true of the political police forces, which traditionally operate abroad with or without permission, that police activities do not end at state borders. In the last few decades massive internationalisation of police activities has taken place. European police forces currently have access to extensive networks of liaison officers. Within the context of the EU, cross-border police operations were legalised. Even the dispatching of large contingents of riot police to summit meetings or football matches is possible today. The border police of the EU states are active along the common external border. In addition, police are often in action together with the military in operations abroad.

The BKA’s Internationals
by Eric Töpfer
Since its foundation, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is the interface between German police forces and those of other countries. In the first few decades, the BKA mainly managed mutual assistance in criminal matters. Since 1973, the foreign contacts of the office proliferated in the wake of expanding investigative powers. In particular through its liaison officers the BKA developed its own foreign policy. Meanwhile this policy is planned by the new BKA department “International Coordination” that is the strategic brain of the office with its spearhead in the German capital.

Human ties: More and more liaison officers
by Mark Holzberger
Four decades ago, German police forces began sending liaison officers abroad. Today, some 149 officers are permanently stationed there. Among them are 65 from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), but also Customs and the immigration liaison officers of the Federal Police. In addition to the permanent liaison officers there are those who have been dispatched on a short-term basis for particular events or projects.

Police support – Part of a militarized foreign policy
by Jonna Schürkes
All round the globe the Federal Republic of Germany supports the police forces of other states. In the training of foreign police by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Federal Police (BPol) and in the supply of police equipment a huge influence is exerted over foreign police forces. The security forces of the recipient countries are to be bound to the donor countries and establish and maintain an order that remains in tune with their interests.

EU police forces training in Lehnin
by Matthias Monroy
Since 2008 European Union Police Force Training has been taking place which aims to strengthen the EU’s capacity of “civil crisis management”. The third such exercise took place in the summer of 2010 in Lehnin, in the German state of Brandenburg. 342 members of police forces from 16 EU states and Ukraine trained to combat a rebellion in the fictitious state of “Askania”, a “failing state” in the “heart of Europe”. The German Federal Police do not at present form part of the Integrated Police Units of the EU, which would be under military command in EU missions. They are, however, getting dangerously close to such exercises and hence to involvement with the European Gendarmerie Force.

Police buildup in Afghanistan
Jonna Schürkes
Since 2002 a police force has been under formation in Afghanistan which is closer to paramilitary units than to civil police. Besides the USA and NATO, the EU is supporting this buildup – through the EU mission “EUPOL Afghanistan”, through the European Gendarmerie, but also by way of project teams of individual member states such as Germany. The Afghan police are known for their proneness to bribery and their brutality towards the population and serve as cheap ground forces for NATO in the war against the rebels.

Non-thematic articles:

Fatal shootings by police in 2009
by Otto Diederichs
A total of 57 shots were fired upon persons by the German police in the year 2009; 24 of these were declared to be shots “against objects”. Six people were thereby killed and 21 injured.

Eight shots are no self-defence
by the Campaign for Victims of Racially-Motivated Police Violence
On New Year’s Eve 2008, in Schönfliess in Brandenburg, a Berlin policeman shot dead Dennis J., who was wanted for several minor offences. Dennis J. was hit by six shots, the first of which was fatal. In July 2010 the County Court of Neuruppin sentenced the policeman responsible to two years’ probation. His two colleagues were fined for obstruction of justice.

Violence towards the police
by Norbert Pütter
The debate surrounding violence against police officers (CILIP 95) continues to rage. At the spring session of the Interior Ministers’ Conference the Criminological Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN) presented its initial report. With the support of the ministries, an online questionnaire had been sent via the police Intranet to all the police officers of the federal states taking part. A number of internal departments also published the results of their own enquiries in the first half of the year. The debate remains deeply affected by the combination of questionable methods and speculative explanations.