• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Berlin's busiest square is hunting ground for criminals
Photo: DPA

Berlin's busiest square is hunting ground for criminals

The Local · 21 Mar 2016, 12:32

Published: 21 Mar 2016 12:32 GMT+01:00

Crime has been rife for years at Alexanderplatz, Berlin's busiest public space and home to the German capital's world-famous TV tower. And despite increased police presence, officers have been unable to get a grip on the situation.

Figures released to Berlin city representative Tom Schreiber of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) show that the number of violent offences at Alex - as it's fondly known to Berliners - remained stuck at around 600 per year between 2011 and 2015.

"Although there are more officers and they are probably working overtime, I think the staff are overwhelmed with the situation," Schreiber told The Local.

Ever since 20-year-old Johnny K. was beaten to death by 6 men in October 2012, an extra police team has been in place to watch over the tourist, shopping and travel nexus in the former East of the city.

But the report from the city government's Interior department shows that while crime was relatively low in early 2015, there were a total of 597 acts of violence by the end of the year. 

The offences include criminal assault, armed robbery, threats and unlawful detention.

The department registered 481 cases of assault, 62 instances of coercion and threats, 51 cases of robbery and three counts of the most serious crimes: rape, murder and homicide, some of them attempted.

Cases of pick-pocketing also increased by 54% between 2014 and 2015.

"We need combined supervision at Alexanderplatz; a joint effort of the public order office [Ordnungsamt], federal police [responsible for policing transport infrastructure], and city police," city representative Schreiber said.

"We don't want tourists to arrive in this city and then be welcomed by crime."
Story continues below…

The police department did not give a statement on why they haven't been able to curtail crime at the plaza when contacted by The Local.

by Max Bringmann

SEE ALSO: Germany's safest and most dangerous cities

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Travellers stuck after dozy train driver forgets Freiburg
Photo: DPA

It's one thing to miss a train - it's another when the train misses you.

Berlin airport employee admits taking €150,000 bribe
Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Photo: DPA

The German capital's long-delayed international airport has been haunted by claims of corruption and incompetency.

Teachers' union: school burqa bans only isolate girls more
Women wearing niqabs. Photo: DPA.

A German trade union for teachers has warned of the consequences of banning certain religious attire in schools after a teen this week was told she could not wear a face veil to school.

Bundesliga
Bayern ban big bags and bottles for Bundesliga opener
Photo: DPA

Bayern Munich have tightened security measures at their stadium, banning spectators from carrying big bags and bottles, ahead of Friday's home match - the first of the new German league season.

Drugstore chain DM starts selling pepper spray
Photo: DPA

One of Germany's largest drug stores has started selling pepper spray due to "increased requests" from customers.

AfD accused of using neo-Nazi symbols on campaign car
Photo: Facebook of NO LEGIDA.

The Leipzig branch of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has come under fire for seemingly using Nazi symbols on a campaign car.

Merkel wants migrant return deals with N. African states
Migrants in the Mediterranean. Photo: DPA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Tuesday on the EU and North African countries to do deals modelled on a controversial agreement with Turkey to stem migrant flows to Europe.

VW reaches supplier deal to resume production
Photo: DPA

German car giant Volkswagen said on Tuesday it has reached a deal with suppliers to begin deliveries again after a stoppage that forced the group to halt production at several plants.

Merkel calls for 'loyalty' from Turkish-Germans
Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: EPA.

Those who have lived in Germany for many years should actively show a "high level of loyalty", the Chancellor said.

Govt paper mulls bringing back army conscription
Photo: DPA

In its new concept paper on civil defence, the federal government discusses the concept of conscription, five years after it was abolished.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,635
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd