Sebastian Röhrhoff (33) from "EK Lützerath" is enthusiastic about the online survey.
Online hearing
After a pilot phase, the online consultation was launched nationwide at the end of November 2022. Since then, the new tool has been used over 700 times.
Streife editorial team

The police in North Rhine-Westphalia are pioneers in Germany when it comes to online questioning. The possibility of questioning witnesses and suspects via video conference is unprecedented in any other federal state. The NRW police use their own video conferencing system (HiPoS-VKS) for this purpose. There is great interest and, according to Dirk Rodenbücher (46), there is already a regular exchange with other states. As Head of Division 34.3 at the State Office of Criminal Investigation, Rodenbücher is responsible for online interrogation in North Rhine-Westphalia.

"Online questioning makes investigation procedures much more efficient. Citizens don't have to travel to the police station and have no travel costs. As online questioning is flexible in terms of location, it is much easier to arrange appointments for questioning. If the questioning takes place early, the memory is often much fresher and the person being questioned can provide more precise information."

Another advantage is that requests for investigations to other authorities become superfluous. Example: A man witnesses a bar brawl in Cologne but lives in Aachen. As a rule, a police officer in Aachen then interrogates him, who first has to familiarize himself with the facts of the case. The investigating police officer in Cologne can do this himself at short notice via online questioning. This relieves the burden on the colleague in Aachen and speeds up the investigation.

Of the more than 700 interrogations that have been conducted online since the kick-off at the end of November, around 75 have been conducted by "EK Lützerath". Chief Superintendent Sebastian Röhrhoff (33) is part of the investigative commission that is looking into the operation surrounding the evacuation of Lützerath. "In the first wave, we questioned police officers from all over Germany, but we used online questioning right from the start due to the large number of people involved," says Röhrhoff. The service was particularly well received by injured police officers. In just three months, the EK has conducted over 140 interviews - a good half of them online. Röhrhoff: "This would not have been possible without online questioning. We wouldn't want to be without the tool."

Translated with (pro version)
In urgent cases: Police emergency number 110