- Target Audience
- Local community organisations/NGOsLaw enforcement officersAuthorities
- key themes association
- Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their familiesMulti-agency cooperation
- Peer Reviewed practice
The Hessian State Criminal Police Office (HLKA) was founded in 1945 upon approval by the American military government. With additional competencies granted by the German Constitution in 1949 and subsequent legislation, the HLKA has become the official central agency for police information and communications as well as for criminal police work within the federal state of Hesse.
The agency is mandated and supervised by the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and Sports (HMdIS) and headquartered in the capital city of Wiesbaden, close to Frankfurt. The HLKA consists of six departments, one of them being the State Security Division, where the returnee coordination is located within the subunit of Islamist Extremism. Most of the approx. 900 employees are police officers; others are civilian specialists.
Type of Organisation: Governmental institution
The Returnee Coordination of Hesse is part of the model project “Coordination for returning FTFs and families from Syria and Iraq” which was launched by the German Federal Ministry for Migration and Refugees in 2019 and implemented in seven particularly affected federal states.
The returnee coordination serves as an information interface between actors on federal, state, and local level, including security authorities (e.g. police, intelligence services), public bodies (e.g. youth welfare offices, state education authorities), local communities (e.g. schools), civil society organisations and psychological institutions. It is not in direct contact with returning persons and families.
The fundamental aim is to facilitate a multidisciplinary and holistic case processing. The coordination’s two-tier working structure consists of strategic networking and operative case processing. Thus, the returnee coordination does not only connect and support relevant actors in their efforts to deradicalise and reintegrate the returning persons or families, but also pools and steers the demand-oriented flow of necessary information to guarantee an efficient exchange and coordination of measures.
The holistic case processing is divided into three stages: departure and stay, repatriation, and reintegration.
The first stage focuses on collecting relevant information about specific cases, including radicalisation processes, aspects of the individuals’ social and religious life abroad, and reasons to return to Germany.
As soon as the date and time of the repatriation are clarified, the returnee coordination informs relevant social and civil-societal actors according to a predetermined reporting chain. It also organises the first of several roundtable meetings to connect relevant actors, exchange updates, and discuss planned procedures at the airport, which depend e.g. on the presence of returning children and the execution of arrest warrants.
The third stage is the most extensive and significant one. The returnee coordination offers a platform to regularly and sustainably exchange information, keeps close records of current and prospective measures, and identifies gaps.
Lack, Laaf, Römer (2021). „Der Umgang mit Rückkehrerfamilien aus dem Islamischen Staat“. In: ZKJ - Zeitschrift für Kindschaftsrecht und Jugendhilfe. Volume 3/2021. Pp. 87-94.