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CRIME

Police officers under increasing attack

German police are being attacked more than ever before, with people showing increasing disrespect for officers, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.

Police officers under increasing attack
Don't hurt them! Photo: DPA

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.

CRIME

German jailed for life in double police murder

A German man was given a life sentence on Wednesday for shooting dead two police officers to escape being caught for illegal game hunting during a routine traffic check.

German jailed for life in double police murder

The regional court in Kaiserslautern found 39-year-old Andreas Schmitt guilty of the killings in January this year, which sent shockwaves across Germany.

His co-defendant, referred to by the court as Florian V., was found guilty of abetting illegal poaching.

The 33-year-old was in the car with Schmitt when the officers discovered dead game in the boot, investigators said.

“We are all to this day horrified that a supposed routine control could turn into a fatal incident,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement after the verdict.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

The victims were a 24-year-old woman police officer still in training and her colleague, a 29-year-old man.

The young woman was killed by a single shot to the head, while the man was shot four times, investigators said.

The officers were able to report that they were checking a suspicious vehicle and that shots were being fired before radio contact broke off.

When backup arrived, the woman was already dead and the man fatally injured. The perpetrators had fled the scene.

The crime in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate state triggered a major manhunt, with police deploying helicopters and sniffer dogs, sealing off roads and warning local residents not to pick up hitchhikers.

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