The electronic police information system at the BKA (known as INPOL) is indispensable for searches and investigative work. After entry into the system, data about persons wanted by the German police or judicial authorities are available within seconds to all agencies connected to the system. In addition to the BKA, state police offices, the Federal Police and the customs authorities have access to the system. The databases on persons and property play a central role.
The wanted notices are automatically checked to ensure that data are deleted at the required time in compliance with the provisions of data protection law.
The INPOL wanted persons database currently contains about
167,955 circulations issued for the purpose of locating persons
505,526 arrest requests, including
335,344 expulsion orders / deportations of foreigners
The INPOL property database includes approximately 10.9m items that are the subject of searches because of possible links to crimes.
This total number includes, among others, the following items:
147,180 passenger cars
34,909 lorries, including trailers
106,943 mopeds, motorised bicycles and motorcycles
5,267,306 identity documents, driving licences, etc.
An additional computer-assisted information system designed to store and retrieve data on persons and property is the Schengen Information System (SIS), which can be used for searches in the countries that are parties to the Convention Applying the Schengen Agreement (CAS). Establishment of the SIS is a significant compensatory measure following elimination of border controls at the international borders of the CAS countries. SIRENE (Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry) at the BKA is the national central office for information exchange relating to SIS searches.
The search data can basically be accessed within seconds by any police officer in any member country.
At the present time, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Greece, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and the associated countries of Norway, Switzerland and Iceland participate in the SIS. Searches for persons or property are entered into the system by the respective SIS country and disseminated to all national offices via a central office in Strasbourg.
The system provides information on
- persons wanted in Schengen countries with a view to extradition
- persons who are circulated with a view to refusing entry into, or deportation from, Schengen countries
- persons who are circulated with a view to location, taking them into custody, or placing a lookout for them
- missing property in the following search categories: vehicles over 50 cc and trailers over 750 kg, vehicle registration numbers, issued documents, blank documents, firearms, banknotes.
At the beginning of 2009, the SIS constituted a data volume of approximately 27,920,000 search notices. This is divided into 26,696,000 property searches and 1,224,000 searches for persons. Germany represents about one-fifth of the total search database.