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Munich bans hoodlums from Oktoberfest

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Munich bans hoodlums from Oktoberfest
Munich hopes for fewer scenes like this in 2008. Photo: DPA
11:20 CEST+02:00
This year's Oktoberfest will be a bit safer after 23 known hooligans and five chronic pickpockets have been banned from the Bavarian beer festival, Munich daily tz reported on Friday.

Munich authorities have posted photos of the known offenders around the neighbourhood near the Wiesn, and if they are caught inside festival grounds they will be fined €1,000.

“This year the method is being broadened,” a county administration department spokesperson Christopher Habl told tz. “The police can only deal with removing them from the premises.”

The five-page new policy announcement describes why each hooligan has been banned based on police recommendation. One ruffian is listed for 19 offences on police records. Another citation reads: “On October 2, 2007, you committed dangerous bodily harm, first starting a verbal argument, then smashing a beer mug into another person's face.”

The statement, in what tz calls “the most beautiful bureaucratic German,” states that without the new bans, the offender would use the festival grounds “to perpetrate crimes and disturbances to the public security and order.”

In 2006 and 2007 there were some 260 incidents of bodily harm during the famous Bavarian beer festival. About 41 percent of the incidents in 2007 were considered to be “dangerous” by police – a reduction of 12 percent from the previous year.

This year's Oktoberfest runs from September 20 to October 5.

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