Skip to main content

Legal Matters

Opferschutz_im_Strafverfahren

Victim Protection During Criminal Proceedings

The protection of victims during legal proceedings is an important concern for the judiciary in North Rhine-Westphalia. A large number of legal reforms made in the past have improved victims’ position during investigative and criminal proceedings. In addition to the further strengthening of procedural and information rights, victims of criminal offences can make use of psychosocial support during criminal proceedings.
Kreispolizeibehörden

District Police Authorities

The police in North Rhine-Westphalia carry out their duties across 47 district police authorities and three higher state authorities. The Ministry of the Interior is the highest supervisory body.
Online-Anzeigenerstattung in Nordrhein-Westfalen

Reporting a Crime in North Rhine-Westphalia

Police complaints can be made at any police station and at the public prosecutor’s office. They can also be made online using the Internet police station for the state which the complainant is in. It is particularly suitable for cases which are not urgent. It does not take long to report a crime but it is likely that it will take quite a long time to process it.
Polizeilicher Opferschutz

Police Protection for Victims

All of the district police authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia employ specially trained police officers to provide victims with police protection. The goal is to better meet the needs of victims of crime both inside and outside of legal proceedings, to facilitate trustworthy cooperation and to put them in touch with appropriate support services as quickly as possible.
Psychosoziale Prozessbegleitung

Psychosocial Support during Criminal Proceedings

Psychosocial support during criminal proceedings involves qualified professionals providing victims with support, supervision and information during criminal trials.This support is provided before, during and after the main hearing and it is hoped that it will reduce the stress experienced by injured parties. Victims and witnesses in particular need of protection may make use of this professional support during a criminal trial.
Opferentschädigungsgesetz

The Victim Compensation Act

Under certain circumstances, victims of violent crime are entitled to payments in accordance with the German Victim Compensation Act. In addition to injured parties themselves, surviving dependants such as widows and widowers as well as children and parents are entitled to payments.
Zeuge

Witnesses

Witness statements are very important in a court of law. Witness statements are vital in order to clarify matters and make a fundamental contribution to establishing the truth.