Efficient police co-operation requires central collection and analysis of the information obtained by police offices at state and federal level.
The aim is to identify links between perpetrators and offences and to discover criminal structures and potentials, especially with regard to supraregional organised crime and other dangerous forms of crime. On this basis, investigative leads and concepts of crime suppression are developed and provided to the competent law enforcement agencies.
In this context, electronic data processing is an indispensable instrument of crime control. Only by this means is it possible to store numerous items of personal and property data and to analyse and compare them with each other.
With the aid of electronic data processing, it can be determined within seconds at the Bundeskriminalamt whether records, fingerprints or other types of material are on file about a particular individual. The criminal records form the basis for the collection of information.
They continue to be an indispensable tool for the police. Such records make it possible to trace the career of a criminal offender. They can serve as an important source of information for the police in cases where the offender again comes to notice as a suspect, or in cases involving offences committed by perpetrators yet unidentified where participation by certain known individuals is suspected.
The BKA criminal records include approximately 3,700,000 items of personal data on persons who have committed serious offences or crimes of supraregional significance. In 2006, approximately 330,000 criminal records were created.
An automatic monitoring system ensures that data are deleted by the prescribed deadlines. This makes it possible to keep files up to date while complying fully with the provisions of data protection law.