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Tougher crime laws to follow U-Bahn bashing

The Local · 26 Apr 2011, 07:18

Published: 26 Apr 2011 07:18 GMT+02:00

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“It must be a thing of the past that young people show off their suspended sentences as trophies,” said deputy chairman of the conservatives’ parliamentary group, Günter Krings, to Tuesday’s edition of daily Welt.

Early Saturday, an 18-year-old student, named by daily Bild as Torben P., severely bashed a 29-year-old man at Friedrichstraße U-Bahn station. The man was left unconscious and had to be rushed to hospital. He is now recovering.

Torben P. and a co-attacker, also 18, turned themselves in to police over the weekend after surveillance video of the attack was widely published, including stills of Torben P. appearing to stomp on his prostrate victim's head. However Torben P. is already out on bail, various news reports said.

One possibility for tougher sentencing was the introduction of so-called “warning-shot detention” whereby young repeat offenders are given a short taste of prison followed by probation, Krings said. The warning shot would typically consist of a few weeks’ jail with an emphasis on education and rehabilitation.

The Justice Ministry would draw up draft legislation within the next two months, Krings said.

“Young offenders properly discover what it means to be behind bars and are at the beginning of their probation period faced with the clear consequences of re-offending.”

Greens MP Christian Ströbele rejected the plan as “absolute rubbish,” saying that existing maximum penalties were rarely used, so it made no sense to toughen them further.

Warning shots wouldn’t have helped in the current case because the main offender hadn’t appeared in court before, he added.

Story continues below…

Berlin Interior Minister Ehrhart Körting told the Berliner Morgenpost he was appalled by the incident but added that it showed video surveillance was working.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:07 April 26, 2011 by catjones
Congratulations! 'video surveillance was working. ' This way it can record the next attack. Apparently, 'young' adult criminals should be treated differently than older adult criminals. Hey, kids, get your kicks in while you're young.
09:13 April 26, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
Dreadful attack, but to be clear bail has nothing to do with sentencing, or lack thereof.
09:17 April 26, 2011 by tallady
Warning shot? about giving them a shot of about 18 months detention for the 1st volley and 5 years for the next. This violent behavior towards innocent bystanders for no reason other than getting your kicks off is more serious and getting more frequent.

The public deserves better than this from it's Gov.
09:30 April 26, 2011 by auniquecorn
I like the part, (repeat offenders)are given a (short taste) of prison followed by probation,

Yep, that´ll teach em.
09:40 April 26, 2011 by dcgi
How about doing the obvious.. install/use existing loudspeakers by the side of the CCTV so if/when an attack is detected the attackers know they're being filmed at that someone is aware the attack is taking place, CCTV is very passive/invisible it is not a proper deterrent for these thugs who hardly have a braincell to begin with.

Posting police/security in the worst bahns would also not be a bad idea, start with Alexanderplatz and Friedrichstrasse.
09:43 April 26, 2011 by raandy
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:46 April 26, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
typical knee-jerk reaction. Things haven't been going well for Mrs Merkel's CDU lately, so now apparently some of their politicians think it is their chance to shine by doing some grandstanding.

And Günther Krings seems to be quite a reactionary as of late... he has even accused Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger of promoting crime by keeping putting her foot down against the reintroduction of data retention ("Vorratsdatenspeicherung"). Yes, that infamous Orwellian scheme which enabled the government to spy on 80 million innocent citizens without probable cause and was struck down by the Bundesverfassungsgericht last year.

But the unthinking sheeple just lap it all up, at least that's Krings's hope... "get tough on crime" is always a last resort when a lame-duck administration has no more other means of winning votes.
09:52 April 26, 2011 by raandy
iseedaftpeople maybe so. but I would be happy with what ever it takes from whom ever is reaching for straws.
09:58 April 26, 2011 by iseedaftpeople

yeah, go ahead and buy into their fear politics.
10:03 April 26, 2011 by tallady
sure as i go to the underground ,,,as the vic about fear maybe it will be you next time.
10:23 April 26, 2011 by iseedaftpeople

you're still more likely to get run over by a car in your lifetime than to fall victim to an attack on the underground here in Germany.

And that is what I mean - it all gets blown out of proportion. Sure we must do something about crime. And yes, that attack was another horrible incident. But it was just that, one incident. There is no crime wave when you look at the real numbers, it is not a trend or phenomenon. It just gets overreported, and two-bit backbenchers like Krings jump on the bandwagon for another five minutes of highly questionable political fame.
11:18 April 26, 2011 by zeddriver
I agree with Iseedaftpeople. When I see posts on The Local concerning crime in America. I wonder what America they are referring to. In my 48 years of living in America. I have never seen a crime being committed. But, If one watches the evening news. You would soon be convinced that there are criminals lurking behind every tree ready to jump out with two pistols blazing killing everything in site. The same thing happens here in Germany.

One of Americas founding fathers said. Those who are willing to give up liberty (freedom) for security will very soon have neither.

Just think. Some day we might have a future crimes unit. Just like that Tom Cruise movie. The name of which i can't recall right now.

Why am I being arrested? And how did I get convicted! Because we (the government) thought you might commit a crime.
11:28 April 26, 2011 by Angry Ami
How about this for an idea, transit cops, in NY there on the platforms and in the trains, cameras don't do squat except to let us all see some poor slob get his brains beat out, if those morons in Mitte would start spending money on things at home instead of bailing out other EU state who don't know how to deal with their own budgets then things would very quickly improve, but no money no honey, and tougher sentencing would work if it were really tough, not that you go to jail and they give you nice curtains and a PC in your cell.
11:52 April 26, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
@Angry Ami

"...and tougher sentencing would work if it were really tough, not that you go to jail..."

...and that's how you end up with the world's largest inmate population. Tough sentencing is obviously no deterrent. It just crowds up penitentiaries. Currently there are over 2 million Americans incarcerated, and one out of every 31 Americans is in one way or another "in the system", either in jail or prison or on probation or parole. At enormous cost to the taxpayer. All thanks to feel-good "tough on crime" legislation, mandatory multi-decade sentences, often even on the first offense, as well as brainless three-strikes laws, zero-tolerance school policies, insanely strict parole conditions, and a privatized prison industrial complex.

But of course, if you go by the U.S. media, it's still not enough. There's still a criminal behind every street corner just waiting to victimize you. For every crime, however petty, there is already some no-good grandstanding politician waiting in the wings for his moment to shine. And it is very troubling to see that the CDU in particular appears to be taking its cue from America's failed "tough on crime" mentality lately. Thankfully, the German people are still resisting. When Roland Koch ran for re-election as governor of Hesse in 2008, he did so in part on a "tough on crime" platform proposing out-of-proportion draconian punishment for juvenile offenders. It ended up being one big reason why he lost the election.
12:51 April 26, 2011 by mehta_p
and THEY call 'THOSE' foreginers AGRESSIVE, when those foreigners want to get entry in DISCOs......especially in BERLIN.

soon people from 8 countries will get permission to work in Germany. That might be one more reason in future to get frustrated or angry to make crime.
12:55 April 26, 2011 by frankiep

you make some very good points. However when talking about the US having the world's largest inmate population the numbers are misleading. The vast majority of those "in the system" are there due to the ever growing ridiculously strict number of anti-drug laws. Laws such as those which make it a felony for someone with no prior criminal record to have a couple of joints in their car. And due to the ridiculously puritanical mentality of so many Americans (whether they admit to it or not) drug crimes such as these are treated as being just as serious, if not more so, than violent crimes. As a result, it is not uncommon for violent offenders to be released from prison early (or sometimes not sent to prison at all) because keeping them longer would mean that some 22 year old kid whose only crime was smoking a joint last Saturday night wouldn't be punished with some hard time.
12:59 April 26, 2011 by FredFinger
@ iseedaftpeople

Well that makes sense, lets leave the criminals on the streets so they can harass more people. The ongoing breakdown of society's moral values is not exclusively a US problem, its rather that America has taken a more proactive solution. As the family continues to fragment in the west with the resultant decline in personal discipline society reacts by debating the legalization of gay marriage. Is it any wonder why the islamists are so optimistic about the decline of the west?
13:10 April 26, 2011 by Lachner
These violent attacks are becoming more common in Germany for two reasons: 1) the attackers are not punished or convicted, and 2) the citizens are not allowed to defend themselves due to the strict firearm and knife law regulations in Germany. Therefore, this provides a perfect environment for an attacker to commit their crimes since they won't be punished and are confident that they won't be shot, stabbed or sprayed with pepper spray by their victims. I don't think that Germany needs a less restrictive firearms regulation since it is very safe, but at least they should convict these attacks with severe prison terms and allow the citizens to defend themselves with non-lethal products like pepper spray, collapsible batons or tasers.
13:43 April 26, 2011 by ronasch
No names are mentioned and very little detail so much for the new Germany. No wonder my family who did not leave say "Germany needs a man with a moustache".
14:03 April 26, 2011 by trash head
> with non-lethal products like pepper spray

Pepper spray is legal in germany and dont need a license.
14:24 April 26, 2011 by Wobinidan
How about just putting someone in prison if they beat someone unconscious? At least two years would seem fair. I'm not some 'tough on crime' Daily Mail reader, but stamping on someone's head would seem to warrant a lengthy stay in jail.
14:42 April 26, 2011 by michael4096
@Lachner - do you have any evidence for your assertions, or is it just "obvious" to you

After all, punishment and self-defence laws in Germany haven't changed for decades so if the number of crimes is only now increasing it would indicate that these are not factors.
17:23 April 26, 2011 by Lachner
@trash head - Pepper spray is sold in Germany, but the bottles always state "Never Use Against Human Beings." Why??? The law states that pepper spray may be used for self-defense whenever "necessary". Nonetheless, this is troublesome as it leaves a window open for interpretation by attorneys as to what is and what is not self-defense. In my opinion, self defense should be self defense and nothing more. Let the people equalize the attack with non-lethal weapons at least.

@michael4096 - What I stated in my comment is my opinion based on my personal observations, news reports and experience while living in Germany. This does not mean that it is specifically the main cause, but it could be a good reason. Obviously, there are other factors such as uncontrolled immigration that could be affecting crime. Just making a comment here, no harm done.
18:22 April 26, 2011 by trash head

'Bei einem rechtswidrigem Angriff von Menschen darf OC Pepperspray, wenn es das Verteidigungsmittel ist, dem SIE am nächsten sind und von dem SIE sich den sofortigen Erfolg ihrer Verteidigung versprechen, angewendet werden. ( Urteil BGH AZ. VIZR 232/73 )'
19:22 April 26, 2011 by michael4096
@Lachner -

"Obviously, there are other factors such as uncontrolled immigration..."

Obviously, there are other factors such as the unseasonably hot weather...

I'm glad you are not my lawyer
20:42 April 26, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
> Obviously, there are other factors such as uncontrolled immigration that could be affecting crime.

1) Not obvious to me: do you have a breakdown of crime in Germany vs. race? or vs. age, social status ... ?

2) "uncontrolled immigration": AFAIK immigration is very tightly controlled across Europe: maybe not as tightly as you would like, but is not "uncontrolled" Bild-speak?
21:56 April 26, 2011 by charlenej
Ronasch - are you insinuating that the attackers are foreigners and therefore we need another Hitler to come exterminate all said foreigners like during the Holocaust??? I hope I misread that.
23:07 April 26, 2011 by FredFinger
The man with moustache was a bit extreme doncha think? The nazi's were all about racial superiority but these days the argument against excessive immigration is more about available resources, the economy and maintaining a good standard of living. The future will be all about increasing conflicts over living space, water and room to survive. Immigrants may be a short term solution for cheap labor but our kids and their offspring will be the ones that will pay the price.
00:14 April 27, 2011 by Lachner
@trash head - Vielen Dank! Jetzt werde ich ein OC Pfefferspray kaufen, denn es ist sehr nützlich gegen Kriminelle. Dennoch möchte ich lieber eine Pistole tragen, aber das ist leider in Deutschland nicht möglich.
09:21 April 27, 2011 by tallady
While incidents like this have become alarmingly common in recent years, the release from custody of the two who had admitted responsibility for the Saturday morning attack caused uproar in Berlin and prompted questions to be raised in parliament as to whether their treatment had been too lenient.Quote from the Welle,

Now ,how many feel this will curb the problem.?
10:10 April 27, 2011 by raandy
Simon_Kellett no one is going to give you those stats,but yo would have to be either blind and deaf or a Liberal do gooder afraid of not being PC to see it,,wake up ,dupe
10:53 April 27, 2011 by LiberalGuy
raandy or way2cool or tactician or whatever your next incarnation will be. What does immigration have to do with a brutal crime committed by a GERMAN against another GERMAN?

Answer: nothing....

You really need to get out more and breath some fresh air. You can't spend all your time in front of the computer preaching your brand of hate. Cause frankly no one really cares.
12:59 April 27, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
LiberalGuy: +1
13:07 April 27, 2011 by trash head
LiberalGuy: +1
17:47 April 27, 2011 by FredFinger
LiberalGuy -1

You can't paint all the trepidation about virtually unrestricted immigration as hate because a lot of us are very concerned despite LiberalGuy and his ilk trying to tar us with the xenophobic card. I myself hate no one but am very concerned about the immigration issue.
18:05 April 27, 2011 by LiberalGuy

I'll repeat the question.

What does immigration have to do with this story?

The answer is NOTHING!

It was a young drunk GERMAN idiot bashing an innocent GERMAN bystander.

It has NOTHING to do with immigration.

And yes I can play the xenophobic card cause immigration was brought up on a story that had nothing to do with it.

Now if you feel that raandy/way2cool/tactician is not being xenophobic for all the crap he spews on here, then you need to get some fresh air too.

I have nothing against debate, and I admit that immigration is issue to some (not me), but there is no connection to anything in this story about immigration. If anything it's more closely related to the story about alcohol abuse, as it is a more previlant issue to crimes of this nature than immigration. Now if you are a little weasel just going to spew hate on her because you can, I'm going to call you on it.

So which are you Fred?
18:25 April 27, 2011 by FredFinger
You brought up the issue of hate LiberalGuy so you can go ahead and smell your own armpit. And hate has as little to do with this story as it does with the very real concern many of us have about immigration.

When, in the end, your rose colored glasses come off you're in for one hell of a shock. On the other hand you're so out of touch that maybe it won't matter anyway.
19:58 April 27, 2011 by LiberalGuy

you obviously haven't been on here long enough to smell the crap that comes from some people on this site (see raandy and all his previous incarnations for which he was banned for spreading racist comments) So I suggest you take off your rose colored glasses your wearing and look into a bright future where you don't have to be afraid anymore. You can stick up for the racism thats gets thrown around here like it was a casual gretting all you like, but when way2cool (raandy) starts calling people a monkey because they are black (ask user Johnne) which he has in the past, then it's time to say enough is enough. Now my first post wasn't directed at you personally, I was merely pointing out to a clown that immigration has nothing to do with this story. You can be concerned about immigration, and I would gladly have that debate with you, but don't stick up for weasels. It will only corrupt any valid point of view you may have.
21:20 April 27, 2011 by hrt1
Dear Editor of The Local,

Can you please add a new definition for asbusing your websites so that you can eliminate these comments from people like FredFinger or raandy who has nothing to do other than to write these inappropriate comments sitting all day long in front a PC whenever they are not working?

These people should simply go out and spend few bucks for relaxing themselves with a nice German beer, although they may possibly start up a street fight and get beaten up by some drunk youngsters, a group of angry immigrants or neo-Nazi's.

Thank you.
23:11 April 27, 2011 by FredFinger
Dear Editor of the Local

Can you please add a new definition for abusing your websites so that you can eliminate the inappropriate comments from people like hrt1 who whine about censoring comments they don't like. Rather than sit in front of a PC all day these barely literate posters should simply go out and spend a few bucks for a nice girlfriend and a glass of good german beer.
12:16 April 28, 2011 by Angry Ami

I'm not saying do things like in the US, you can't even compare to to societies, I'm saying put more cops on the street, in the trains, and in the stations, that's the deterrent, and as far as tougher punishment for crime goes, I think good old fashioned "boot camp" would work, discipline, study, hard work, and learning respect for others, as a matter of fact, the few boot camps that exist in Germany are very successful at reforming youth criminals, but so long as these young thugs know they will get light punishment or none at all they will continue to commit crime with impunity.
20:45 April 28, 2011 by raandy
Liberal guy think about it dude incarnation what to hel! are you talking about ,It is incarceration!

but you liberal cry babies want to hold their hand's and talk about their fathers.
22:15 April 28, 2011 by LiberalGuy

proves my point. No one really cares what you have to say. You can't even construct a proper sentence.

Your just a fart on the wind
22:39 April 28, 2011 by hrt1

I didn't imagine that you would write something useless even after 23pm !!
07:12 April 29, 2011 by raandy
Liberal Guy Did you have a point or are just infecting the air with your Liberal trash?
22:36 April 29, 2011 by MichaSeifert-Weiss
So many varied reactions - it's obvious that violence polarises us all. Anything that gives people reason to take a swing, literally or figuratively, harms social cohesion. It ought to be dealt with as intolerable and in a decisive manner. Sometimes if we get an end result that is on the whole better for social health and well-being, the political reasons for initiating the response/s are so important.

I have been bashed by eight youths (not in Berlin) on public transport, and let me say that unless you know whata this feels like, you can only try to be empathetic, but will not understand what a boot slamming into your head feels like, or what it is like to wonder if you'll have brain damage when this is over; if your family and career will be lost to you, all your expensive, hard-earned education gone. It is unimportant if this is a rare experience or not - once is too much and the cost isn't only to the immediate victim. If I stop functioning, my society suffers. To tolerate this violence at all is to condone it.
21:05 April 30, 2011 by raandy
Liberal,,also it is not "A fart on the wind" it is a fart in the wind,what? are you a non native speaker? sounds right dude.
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