Regulatory authority

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The regulatory authority ( called the security authority in Bavaria ), like the police, has the task of warding off dangers to public safety or order ( hazard defense ). It is therefore also referred to as the administrative police or police in the material sense.

Federal states with a separation system

After the Second World War, in most of the German federal states ( Bavaria , Berlin , Brandenburg , Hamburg , Hesse , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , Lower Saxony , North Rhine-Westphalia , Rhineland-Palatinate , Saxony-Anhalt , Schleswig-Holstein , Thuringia ) transfer the security , i.e. the actual, material police task, to the general administration . Since then, the police have only been responsible there for emergency response . The authorities entrusted with the tasks of the administrative police are no longer referred to as police authorities, but predominantly as regulatory authorities.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, where the “principle of separation” has been implemented most consistently, there are two different authorization bases, which also differ slightly in terms of content. These can be found in the Police Act of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (PolG NRW) on the one hand and the Regulatory Authorities Act (OBG NRW) on the other.

Tasks of the regulatory authorities

The tasks of the regulatory authorities are very different in the federal states with a separation system. Usually, the tasks of the local regulatory authority are carried out by the municipalities , the tasks of the district regulatory authority by the districts and the independent cities . Since averting danger is a state task (police law is a matter for the federal states ), it is entrusted to the municipalities as a mandate or as an obligation to perform according to instructions.

Depending on the federal state, other administrative police tasks are assigned to the regulatory authorities by legal regulation (e.g. the right to report , the law on foreigners , trade , construction and water law , epidemic, animal disease and corpse law, food , waste - , Soil protection and pollution control law ). Another main task is the investigation, prosecution and punishment of administrative offenses . Some of them are also available for the investigation of criminal responsibility.


Many of the tasks of averting danger are grouped together at the regulatory office of the municipality or the district as a general regulatory authority. In addition, numerous specialist authorities perform regulatory tasks as so-called special regulatory authorities (for example the building supervision office, the environmental office, the state forest administration and the immigration office ).

The regulatory authorities are largely obliged to carry out their duties with their own staff. In some cases, however, the regulatory authorities also resort to the law enforcement police. In recent years there has been a tendency for the municipalities to expand their public order offices with a city ​​police force , similar to the law enforcement services. Uniform and vehicles sometimes only differ from each other by the inscription. The powers in the area of ​​responsibility are the same as those of law enforcement officers.

Naming of the regulatory authorities

In Hessen, the field service of the regulatory offices is carried out by the regulatory police . This is affiliated with the regulatory agencies. The change in vehicle lettering was accompanied by such large protests in some municipalities due to the historical burden of the term Ordnungspolizei (Nazi era) that they were partially reversed. Since 2007, the term city ​​police can also be used in Hessen , as is the case in Frankfurt am Main . In NRW, the renaming of the Ordnungsamt to the City Police is being considered.

Federal states with a single system

In principle, the regulations of the federal states with a “single system” ( Baden-Württemberg , Bremen , Saarland , Saxony ) must be distinguished from the regulations of the federal states with a separation system . The police authorities in the unitary system include all public administration bodies that perform security tasks.

See also

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