Violence against police officers (2005–2009)

Project period

2010 – 2011

Project staff

Prof. Dr. Christian Pfeiffer (Project manager)

Karoline Ellrich (quantitative part)

Dirk Baier (quantitative part)

Bettina Zietlow (qualitative part)


Innenministerien bzw. -senatoren der zehn teilnehmenden Bundesländer: Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen,Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thüringen

Qualitative Zusatzuntersuchung: Gewerkschaft der Polizei (GdP)

Cooperation partner

Prof. Dr. Thomas Görgen, Deutschen Hochschule der Polizei in Münster

Project description

In early 2010, in collaboration with ten German Länder (Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia), the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony conducted an online survey of police officers with the focus on violence experienced on duty over the five preceding years (2005 to 2009). The starting point of the study was a 32.3 percent rise in cases of resistance against state authority as recorded by the Police Crime Statistics from 2000 to 2008. As resistance cannot be equated with an actual attack, the project aimed to provide more reliable findings on trends in the prevalence and severity of violence against police officers. A further aim was to compile a phenomenological description of cases of severe violence against police officers in order to derive recommendations for prevention.

Alongside the online survey, the research project additionally included two qualitative studies. In the first of these, selected graduate students at the Deutsche Hochschule der Polizei (German Police University) in Münster under the direction of Professor Thomas Görgen evaluated cases of violence experienced by police officers as described in the officers’ own words. In the second, in-depth interviews were held with 30 severely injured police officers, among other things to investigate in detail how they dealt with what they had experienced.

Project related publications