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Attacks on police rise dramatically

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Attacks on police rise dramatically
Photo: DPA
11:47 CEST+02:00
The number of attacks on German police officers rose drastically last year, according to figures released Saturday by the federal police authority in Potsdam.

The number of police officers who were the victims of attack rose by 58 percent from 985 in 2008 to 1,555 in 2009, the police authority revealed. The number of attackers also rose significantly to 1,228, an increase of 65 percent.

This is the most offenders since the relevant statistics were first collected in 2000. In the last three years, the number has always stayed been 700 and 800.

The number of injured policemen saw a particularly large increase, with 462 injured – 130 percent more than 2008. Reports say that most of the attacks occurred on Fridays and Saturdays, with attackers frequently under the influence of alcohol. Only a quarter of the attackers were caught.

The head of the police union (GdP) Konrad Freiberg told news magazine Der Spiegel, "Police are increasingly becoming the target for people releasing their frustration and hate."

On Friday, the upper house of the German parliament, the Bundesrat, put its weight behind a law proposal to increase punishments for attacking police. The law, proposed by the representatives of Bavaria and Saxony, would increase the maximum punishment to three years' imprisonment. A punishment of five years' imprisonment is being proposed for attacks using "dangerous weapons."

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