If you ever need to file a police report, you might find yourself wondering if your German skills are good enough to communicate with the police, where exactly you have to go to file the report, and what information is required. In this article, we’ll break down the basics for each of the federal states.
Just remember that each federal state in Germany has its own Onlinewache or Internetwache where you can file your police reports online. You can try to do this in English, but there is a high chance that if you’re outside of Berlin, they won’t be able to understand you.
These are also all non-emergency services. If you need help, please call 110 for direct access to your local police.
With Berlin’s overwhelmingly international population, it’s no wonder that the police have created an online portal for people to file police reports both in German and in English. Please do remember that this is for non-emergencies, like if your bike is stolen, and you need to file a police report to have insurance cover it.
(See the little British flag in the corner for English; non-emergencies)
If you’re in Hamburg, it’s the same as Berlin, but no English version is available. You can try submitting your information in English, and there is the possibility that someone could call you back, but be prepared to speak German or find someone who is willing to help you. Again, please note that this is only for non-emergencies.
3. Munich, Nürnberg, etc.
Munich is the exact same as Hamburg because you’ll only be able to file a police report in German. This portal can also be used for any other city in Bavaria as the police are connected. It would be best to have someone help you fill out the online questionnaire with someone familiar with the language and who can speak to the police if they come to your house or call you to get more information.
4. Cologne, Düsseldorf, Bonn, Münster, Dortmund, Essen, etc.
Thankfully, Nordrhein-Westfalen has created a police department for their entire federal state, making it easier to submit online police reports from multiple different cities. While you might have already guessed it, you won’t be able to access an English version of the website, so you’ll need to find someone who speaks German to help you out.
5. Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden, Kassel, etc.
If you need to file a police report in Hessen, you’ll need to have good German skills or a friend who does since there is no English option on their website. They also have multiple categories for things that can be stolen, so make sure you look carefully and find the category that best matches your situation.
6. Stuttgart, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, etc.
For police reports in Baden-Württemburg, you will need to fill out the form in German. All theft and smaller police reports can be found on the same form, but you’ll need to provide as many details as possible. The police will contact you for more information, so make sure you have someone who is nearby or who can come help translate.
You can file an online police report with the Bremen police, but they only speak German and there are some exceptions. If your bike is stolen from inside of a basement or closed room, then you’ll need to call them since they’ll have to take pictures and do a search. Don’t call the emergency number if it isn’t an emergency, though. Instead, they advise you to call 362-0 instead.
Yes, this is different from the Bremen police. Although these two cities are located in the same region, their police are split into two different departments. You’ll need to double check where the theft happened, and then you can click either the link above for Bremen or the link below for Bremerhaven.
9. Hannover, Braunschweig, Göttingen, etc.
If you’re currently living in Niedersachsen and need to file a police report, you can go to their website. It’s comparatively very well organized and clean. They even provide links to all of the other online police websites throughout the country in case you’ve accidentally realized that your city isn’t in Niedersachsen.
10. Potsdam, Frankfurt (Oder), Oranienburg, etc.
As you might have already guessed, you won’t be able to speak English with the Brandenburg police. Their website also has more options than most other federal states and has occasional recruiting pop-ups if you’re interested in becoming part of the Brandenbuger Police.
11. Rostock, Schwerin, Neubrandenburg, etc.
Just like the other online police departments, they only speak German. Their website is also a bit confusing, but you’ll need to write in your police report under “Hinweis.” They’ll begin working on the case and send you a number associated with your request. There is a high likelihood that they’ll call you for more information. Also be sure to pick one of the three areas at the bottom of the form that will determine who handles your case.
12. Mainz, Ludwigshafen, Koblenz, Trier, etc.
While they may not have English available, they do have images that will guide you through the process of filing a police report and have multiple options. As we mentioned above, you’ll most likely need someone who speaks German to help you speak with the police and provide them with any additional information they need for the report.
13. Saarbrücken, Neunkirchen, etc.
Saarland is small, but they do offer their online police reports in English, French, and German. You’ll just need to select the language you want to use and continue filing the police report online.
14. Dresden, Leipzig, Chemnitz, etc.
Sachsen is another surprising federal state that offers three languages to people who need to file a police report: Czech, English, and German. You can see the language selection above on their website linked below.
15. Halle, Magdeburg, Dessau, etc.
This federal state is just German-speaking, like most of the other police in Germany. You’ll need to have someone help you through the process of filing a police report online. The website also allows you to ask questions, so it might be helpful also to ask if an English-speaking person is available, but it might be unlikely.
16. Kiel, Lübeck, Flensburg, etc.
They call themselves the “der echte Norden” or the real North, but thankfully, they speak English and have a clean and easy website for you to use to file a police report online and ask any questions that you might have.
17. Erfurt, Jena, Gera, Weimar, etc.
Be careful when you file a police report on this website because they separate different types of forms in the backlinks in the description, so it’s super important to read the entire list on the page. The website, however, is only in German, so if you don’t yet know German, you’re going to need someone to help you.