Police officers under increasing attack
The Local · 22 Mar 2009, 12:24
Published: 22 Mar 2009 12:24 GMT+01:00
The number of attacks on police officers, and other ‘state officials’ such as fire fighters, rose by nearly 22 percent over the last decade, Uwe Schünemann, state interior minister in Lower Saxony told the paper. “This seems to be a trend across the republic,” he said.
Matthias Seeger, president of the federal police presidium, said, “Respect for police officers has dropped in general, in particular for young people of a migration background.”
He said small altercations held the possibility of escalation, “It can happen that, for example, the demand that a cigarette be put out, can lead to a violent confrontation.”
He said drinking and taking drugs also played a role in increasing the chances of an attack. “In around 70 percent of the attacks, the culprit was drunk,” said Seeger.
Berlin is the most violent cities for police officers, with 3,371 attacks last year. Gerd Neubeck, head of the police in the capital said, “Berlin is sadly the leader in this. The numbers are also rising in other states though.”
The police union suggested that anyone in uniform becomes an object of hate and the problems with what it said were ‘non-German and German multiple offenders with a migration background, were increasingly threatening.
Berlin’s state interior minister Ehrhart Körting said the figures should be interpreted carefully and that the high numbers should be seen in the context of the May 1st demonstrations. The numbers include someone who hurts an officer while trying to avoid arrest, which he said was very different to a considered attack.
And he defended the young people with a ‘migration background’ saying, “It would be wrong to say that a generation of young people with such a background are growing up here to be overwhelmingly criminal,” he said.