Police moot online version of 110 emergency call service

In the face of growing internet crime, Germany’s professional police association (BDK) wants to create an online emergency call system, a media report said on Wednesday.

Police moot online version of 110 emergency call service
Photo: DPA

“To get a grip on internet crime and increase the security of users, we suggest an emergency call system – a sort of 110 on the net,” BDK head Klaus Jansen told daily Rheinische Post, referring to Germany’s universal emergency telephone number.

The project, called “Webpatrol,” is already in planning stages, he said, explaining that users who want the service could click on a link that would lead them to special software. The program would take an image of the offending website and automatically send the data to law enforcement officers, the paper said.

“So for example, evidence of a planned shooting or content like child pornography could be reported early,” Jansen said, adding that the new project would require new training for officers.

Parliamentary group leader for the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) Wolfgang Bosbach welcomed the suggestion.

“That’s an idea that we should thoroughly review,” he told the paper.

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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.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

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. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners