A police whistleblower's role in uncovering internal misconduct is especially crucial, given that they hold the exclusive right to use force and can execute arrests or search warrants to deeply touch people's fundamental rights. At the same time, police officers often refrain from reporting unlawful or abusive actions within their department because of the closeness and danger they share with their colleagues, as well as concerns about possible ramifications. However, if the abuse of far-reaching police powers remains without consequences, this destroys society's trust in the rule of law and the institution of the police. Whistleblowing in the police is therefore of particular importance.
How can whistleblowers in the police be better protected?
The Alfred Landecker Foundation is funding the project "Mach Meldung!" of the Society for Civil Rights (GFF) to provide information about the importance of whistleblowing in the police. The focus of the project is on improving the legally regulated protection of whistleblowers, which has been lacking in Germany until now. The Whistleblower Protection Act, which came into force on July 2, 2023, is an important step for improving the situation of potential whistleblowers in Germany.
However, protection is still insufficient – especially for whistleblowers in security agencies. For example, the law does not apply to whistleblowers within the intelligence services and is not applicable to most classified information. The project "Mach Meldung!" is working to eliminate regulatory gaps and make necessary adjustments to the law. In addition, the project will offer educational programs in cooperation with police officers to provide information on whistleblowing – with the aim of lowering the barriers for whistleblowing in the police force.
More information on the project "Mach Meldung!” is available here.