Security Authority (Austria)

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In Austria, which are security authorities for security management in charge. In contrast to Germany, these are federal bodies. The collective term security administration encompasses particularly sensitive internal political matters that have been assigned to the security authorities by Section 2 of the Security Police Act (SPG).


Security management

  • The security police (a state task, not the name of an authority!) Consists of maintaining public peace, order and security and of the first general duty to provide assistance (see below). The security police include, above all, the executive bodies of the security authorities (see below), who appear in public uniformed and armed as the Federal Police (Austria) (and were officially called security guards or otherwise gendarmerie in certain cities until June 30, 2005). The service in the sense of criminal justice (criminal police) does not count to the security police (iSD §3 SPG).
  • The security administration (as a state task) consists of the security police, the passport and registration system, the aliens police, the monitoring of entry into and exit from the federal territory, the weapons, ammunition, shooting and explosives system as well as the press and club and meeting matters.

Security agencies

The security administration is the responsibility of the following security authorities:

  • Federal Ministry of the Interior : The Federal Minister of the Interior bears the ultimate responsibility for internal security.
    • State police departments (one per federal state): They report to the interior minister, manage the work of the security administration in the respective federal state and maintain constant contact with the respective state government.
      • District captains : The district captains are appointed by the respective state government and manage agendas of the indirect federal administration in the relevant political district (indirect: the federal government does not manage through its own organs) as well as state agendas. They are also assigned security authority tasks, which they carry out with the help of the district police command and the police inspectorate of the federal police in their district. For the following parts of the districts of district authorities, the state police directorate is the first authority instead of the district authority: the municipality of Leoben in the district of Leoben and the municipality of Schwechat including the airport in the district of Bruck an der Leitha .
      • Mayor: In Krems and Waidhofen an der Ybbs , these are those statutory cities in which the state police department is not the 1st instance security authority, the mayor, as the district administrative authority, is the 1st instance security authority. The mayor is the lost property and registration authority in all municipalities. The mayor is also the passport authority in municipalities that are part of a state police department. Up until 2003, the Federal Police Directorate was responsible for passport and registration procedures as well as for lost property in such communities .


Executive staff

Executive staff (EB) are officials or contract staff who perform executive services . These are the members of the federal police guard . According to the Civil Service Service Act 1979, an executive employee is an official title . In addition, each EB has a grade as a usage description .

The term EB is the successor to the names Wachmann (actually security guard from the area of ​​the federal security guard corps ) as well as the gendarme (actually gendarmerie officer from the area of ​​the federal gendarmerie ).

Members of the legal service

In addition to contract employees and members of the federal police guard, it is primarily officials from the legal service, so-called police lawyers, who work in the state police headquarters. They are in uniform, but have the right to do their service in civilian clothes. Your official titles are:

In addition, there are the following usage names:

  • State Police President : Head of the Vienna State Police Directorate
  • Provincial Police Vice President: Deputy Head of the Provincial Police Directorate Vienna
  • State Police Director: Head of a State Police Directorate outside Vienna

The police lawyers are mainly employed in the state police departments and their police commissioners (PK), where they act as advisors for criminal proceedings or administrative acts. The head of a PK, also a police lawyer, is called the city ​​governor . According to the constitution, female city governors are entitled to use their designation in female form, but the salutation "Frau Stadthauptmann" is currently preferred to the unfamiliar title "Stadthauptfrau".

Duties and powers

Tasks of the security authorities and executive bodies

First general duty to provide assistance

If the life, health, freedom or property of people are currently at risk or if such a risk is imminent, the security authorities have the first general duty to provide assistance. If there is reason to assume such a risk, the security authorities are obliged to determine whether this actually exists and, if so, have to avert the risk, whereby they can also call the rescue and fire brigade for help.

Maintaining public safety and order

  • The security authorities are responsible for:
    • the defense against general dangers; they have to put an end to dangerous attacks immediately (danger prevention);
    • the special protection (preventive protection)
      • of people who cannot protect themselves adequately;
      • the constitutional institutions and their capacity to act (cf. Bundesheer );
      • the representatives of foreign states, international organizations and other subjects of international law
      • of things that have been released from custody (however, the mayor, as the lost property authority, is responsible for receiving, storing and delivering them);
      • of people who can provide information about a dangerous attack or a criminal connection and are therefore particularly at risk (" witness protection ");
    • determining the whereabouts of people or objects that are being searched for (people and property searches);
    • crime prevention by promoting citizens' ability to take preventive measures themselves, such as B. To increase security against burglary ( criminal investigation advice );
    • the maintenance of order in public places (maintenance of public order).

Powers of the security authorities and law enforcement agencies

Police banned seats in the area around the Vienna State Opera during the Vienna Opera Ball 2008

The organs of the public security service are authorized to request information; establish a person's identity; to issue a seat ban; To abandon occupations; To carry out evictions (e.g. as part of the measures of entry ban and eviction to protect against violence ); To enter and search properties (insofar as this is essential for fulfilling the first general duty of assistance); Search people who have been arrested; Search people at major events; To secure things; To claim property (e.g. motor vehicles from uninvolved third parties to pursue a dangerous fugitive).

Administrative penalties

Administrative (not judicial) offenses in relation to the security authorities are above all disturbances of public order ; Aggressive behavior towards organs of public supervision ; as well as disregard of entry bans . They are sanctioned with fines or arrest sentences. The regional administrative court of the respective federal state acts as the court of appeal .

An administrative offense as such will not be prosecuted if the offense is a criminal offense (see below). This corresponds to the human rights imperative not to punish twice for an act.

Participation in law enforcement

The bodies responsible for prosecuting judicial crimes are the public prosecutor's offices subordinate to the Federal Minister of Justice . They are responsible for leading the investigation and prosecuting them in court. The public prosecutor's offices are not authorized to use coercive measures themselves. You can or must use the executive organs of the security authorities, in particular the employees of the federal police guard . In this case, according to the StPO , the security authorities act as criminal police authorities.

The security authorities work for public prosecutors primarily in operational field work: for example, to investigate and arrest suspects. It is not the police who are responsible for the supervision of prisoners who are held in prisons by the judiciary, but the judicial guard .


If the term report is used in Austria without adding it, it always means reporting an illegal act (as the reporter suspects) to the nearest police station . Reports can also be made directly to the security authorities in any form, and in the event of suspected criminal acts also to the public prosecutor's offices.

Preliminary investigation

The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to enable the public prosecutor's office to either file the complaint because “there is nothing wrong” or to bring the indictment (or the criminal complaint to the district court) in writing in order to achieve a (public) main hearing in court.

The public prosecutor is responsible for conducting the preliminary inquiries, but he does not take any evidence himself, but uses the federal police guard. The law enforcement officers are required to take all evidence requested by the prosecutor and to interrogate suspects.

In smaller cases in particular, the police usually investigate until they consider the case to be closed and only pass it on to the public prosecutor's office when they need it to order procedural means of coercion (e.g. arrest warrant, house search, seizure) .

Reorganization of the security authorities from September 1, 2012

see article Security Agency Restructuring 2012

Planned restructuring

In the government program presented by the Kurz I government in late autumn 2017, it was envisaged that "the agendas of the security authorities of the 1st instance would be transferred from the state police departments to the district administrative authorities (with the exception of the state capitals and Schwechat)". This would have meant that in the cities of Steyr, Villach, Wels and Wiener Neustadt the security administration would have been transferred to the magistrate and in Leoben to the district administration. The police stations existing there would have been dissolved. Due to the failure of the Kurz I government, this plan was not implemented; such a project is not listed in the Kurz II government program .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Government program 2017–2022 - "Together. For our Austria.", Page 30