GSB 7.1 Standardlösung

Waterways Police forces of the coastal federal states

Officers of the Waterways Police Hamburg on a boat driving up close to the hull of a container ship in order to photograph damage. Officers of the Waterways Police Officers of the Waterways Police photograph a damage at a container ship. Source: Waterways Police Hamburg

The coastal waters of North Sea and Baltic Sea belong to the mostly frequented sea areas in the world – a risk potential which requires an efficient protection by the police of the coastal states. The various tasks performed by the Waterways Police in the coastal waters of the North and Baltic sea include:

  • supervision of the shipping traffic
  • inspections of ships
  • Providing help in the event of accidents
  • Providing support for major water sports events
  • Investigating crimes such as environmental crimes and thefts
  • Searching for people, vessels or objects
  • Checking compliance with conservation regulations
  • Fisheries control (only Schleswig-Holstein)
  • Border control (only Hamburg)
  • Protecting and escorting transport vessels and political events (incl. G7 Summit in Heiligendamm, escorting MOX transport vessels)

Common Waterways Police Reporting and Coordination Centre

All of the Waterways Police stations and coastal vessels of the five coastal states (Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein) have had a joined service and coordination office at their disposal for all of their North and Baltic Seas operations since 2001. This joint Waterways Police Command Centre (WPCC) is based at JERACS of the Maritime Safety and Security Centre.

Officers of the Waterways Police Command Centre at their workstations at the JERACS. Officers of the Waterways Police Officers of the Waterways Police Command Centre at their workstations at the JERACS. Source: Waterways Police Lower Saxony

The WPCC’s responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating the use of the relevant coastal states’ police control equipment and resources
  • Coordinating special police deployments and taking the required measures right up to the takeover of control by the relevant coastal state
  • Performing operational tasks at the request of one of the coastal states
  • Analysing, evaluating and managing information concerning maritime safety and security (including silent alarm plausibility checks)
  • Creating and analysing situation pictures (daily creation and management)
  • Information acquisition and management
  • Service and information centre for the responsible WPCC offices and other public agencies
  • Support the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies Germany in case of major maritime emergencies

The WPCC also took over the responsibilities of the Reporting Centre for Munition Finds in the North and Baltic Seas in 2013.

Finally, they perform several federal states-specific tasks, which are described on the web pages of the individual coastal states

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