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German police using their guns less

DPA/The Local · 5 May 2010, 12:34

Published: 05 May 2010 12:34 GMT+02:00

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The number of cases in which police fired warning shots sank to just 51 in 2009, the lowest number in 12 years, according to IMK documents obtained by news agency DPA.

Among these incidents police were forced to shoot directly at people 33 times, ultimately killing six – the lowest level since 2003, when three people were killed by police bullets. The majority of these shootings were classified as self-defence, while the rest were intended to stop fleeing suspects, free a hostage, or stop a crime from occurring.

Meanwhile the number of people injured by police shots fell to 21 – a number that was only lower in 2006 and 2008, when there were only 15 such injured in each year, the statistics showed.

“Those who perhaps expected that police shoot more often, should inform themselves again. The opposite is the case,” German Police Union (DPoIG) head Rainer Wendt said. “Though our colleagues are faced with ever-growing dangers, they react with pronounced caution and are everything other than trigger happy.”

DPoIG statistics show that attacks on police have risen significantly in the last 15 years. Detailed numbers will be available later this year, but current information measuring “resistance against authority” showed 28,000 cases in 2008, compared to 17,000 in 2005.

This may come as a surprise to those following two cases of police violence that have recently made national headlines.

Story continues below…

On Tuesday, three Berlin police officers went on trial for firing eight deadly shots at close-range on a 26-year-old suspect in the Brandenburg town of Schönfließ in 2008. One officer faces manslaughter charges, while the other two are accused of hindering the investigation against their colleague. The three are said to have ambushed the suspect after receiving a tip on his whereabouts from his girlfriend.

Another case against two police officers who fired 16 times at a 24-year-old student in April 2009 is still under investigation in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg. The young man, identified as Tennessee Eisenberg, was armed with a knife, and some reports have said he was shot in the back.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:14 May 5, 2010 by michael4096
C'mon guys. You can't let a challenge like this pass....

"This level of random violence must be a result of the german psyche that even all the good work of those brave men landing on omaha, sword and ... " What? A whole year is lower that a good night in nashville? Oh! Ok, we'll try again...

"Smith & wesson, a us manufacturer of police acoutrements, said today that: the problems the german police have with their holsters is easily remedied..."
18:35 May 5, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Less bullets = good. Very well done.
18:54 May 5, 2010 by Heinrich der Zweite
"German police using their guns less"

Like judges here sentencing criminals less.
19:32 May 5, 2010 by vonSchwerin
It's too bad that the radical left still views the Police as the ruthless, diabolical agent of The Establishment, willfully oppressing innocent people without mercy. They are just trying to do their job and to do it with as little extra force as necessary.
02:18 May 6, 2010 by wmm208
Wait until the Euro & EU collapse comes. Hope they have cannons rather than the lugers.
13:59 May 6, 2010 by William Thirteen
the police here in Berlin are experts at conflict de-escalation. It is only during riots that i have ever seen them act in any way less than admirable.
18:17 May 6, 2010 by Talonx
@ William Thirteen

Though, when operating one-on-one cops in Berlin are better than anything I've ever seen from pigs in the States the bulls in Berlin generally do the opposite of de-escalation with large groups. I would even argue that the riot police in Germany are worse than those in the U.S.
23:40 May 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It's probably difficult to be a policeman in a former police state. Most are good, some are not. Some are plain criminal thugs. von Swherin's attribution of criticism of the police to the "far left" is disingenuous, and obviously political. It is not a "far left" position to expect the police to behave rationally, lawfully and without bias. It might be naïve, but it is not "far left." It is a legitimate expectation.
00:40 May 7, 2010 by William Thirteen
indeed, it is only in their large groups of riot squads that i've seen them get "untoward".
00:26 May 8, 2010 by Prufrock2010
A conservative is a liberal who got mugged. A liberal is a conservative who was beat up by a cop. Enough of the stupid labels. Cops should do their job with integrity. Period.
09:31 August 11, 2010 by SDogood
Are any of you who commented here actual police officers? I'm guessing not from the comments. In the states, thanks to anti-American groups like the American Criminal Lawyers Union and the über left have handcuffed police to the point where we have the crime we do. Has anyone taken the time to notice that since the left has had their way in the court system, crime has exploded in the US? Probably not.

I am shocked to see that the polizei is actually able to fire warining shots. If we did that, we'd be fired and criminaly charged.

The law even looks to prosecuted us under a legally-invented "officer initiated jepordy" charge. In other words, did we place ourselves in a situation where we were forced to shoot someone to stop their threat. It's a preposterous idea as by simply being there, in uniform, and with the hate people have for the police, we have introduced ourselves into a volitile situation.

Maybe the fact that the polizei have had to shoot 33 people in the whole of Germany says that people know better than to threaten the life of a German cop! Obviously Germany doesn't have the thug culture that is so prevelant in the liberal-controlled cities of the US, but I'd really love to know what it is that make the people think twice about challenging the life of a German cop.
01:21 June 3, 2011 by Eric D
the police in germany should not be reserve or diffidence in firing their weapon

at criminals.. in any way . if You want to **** with the Police you have to be ready to give you life away , the police have to make this crystal clear..and let the bleeding hearts bleed
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