Thursday, 8 September 2011

“The brutality with which colleages are now confronted on an almost daily basis,” says Erich Rettinghaus, regional chairman of the North Rhine-Westphalia branch of the German police trade union, “has dramatically escalated”.

...Studies by the Kriminologischen Forschungsinstituts Niedersachsen (KFN) [Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony], in which more than 20,000 officers participated, revealed that the number of seriously injured police officers increased by at least 60 per cent between 2005 and 2009. In major cities, according to the same source, every second perpetrator who attacked a law enforcement officer was of foreign origin. And in one out of every three cases, the motive suspected by the officers was hatred for the police and the state.

...“The spiral of violence is turning ever faster,” noted the officer from Düsseldorf; the “measure of what is bearable” had long since been surpassed. His subordinates now regularly faced being “beaten, kicked and having bottles thrown at them,” as well as being spat on, insulted and threatened with death.

The supposed guardians of order have for a long time been degraded to the role of “extras in a drunken tourism experience”, in which it is possible to start a fight with them with impunity. Especially among “young immigrants”, “mixing it with cops” has become the order of the day at weekends. Respect for officials: no sign of it. In the general chaos of such a situation – often officers are confronted by hundreds of people – most attackers can flee unpunished.

Popular sport: starting a fight with the police

In city districts like Berlin-Wedding or Duisburg-Marxloh it has almost become a popular sport to pick on the police. There it is mostly young immigrants who keep the law busy. Police cars are ambushed with stones and glass bottles. Simple deployments for parking infringements and disturbances of the peace can evolve into major incidents because the officers become surrounded.

“Justice must finally wake up and punish these crimes to the full extent of the law,” says police trade union official Rettinghaus. In reality, however, the blame for the violence is often placed later on the officers themselves, who allegedly caused the situation to escalate. And the actual aggressor then often files a complaint against the police and claims damages.
Source: Der Spiegel

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