Erfurt students return to class with heavy police presence

Some 800 Erfurt high school students have been allowed to return to class on Thursday after their school was closed due to anonymous threats of violence, but there will be heavy security, police said.

Erfurt students return to class with heavy police presence
Police outside the school on Wendenstraße on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

“All students will be searched for dangerous objects at the entrance,” police spokesperson Manfred Etzel said, adding there would be a heavy police presence in the area.

The building on Wendenstraße was closed on Wednesday while police searched for possible bombs with the help of tracking dogs as officials attempted to trace the person who sent an anonymous email with threats of violence.

Students were sent to other schools in Erfurt.

The threats came some eight years after the homicidal massacre in the same city at the Gutenberg Gymnasium high school that left 16 dead. In April 2002, a 19-year-old former student went on a gun rampage and killed 13 teachers, 2 students, and a police officer before committing suicide.


Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

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In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

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