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Germany also at risk of riots, police union warns

The Local · 10 Aug 2011, 11:17

Published: 10 Aug 2011 11:17 GMT+02:00

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Rainer Wendt, head of the German Police Union (DPolG) told Wednesday’s edition of Bild that Germany shares the combustible social problems that have driven the massive riots in London and other major cities for the past four nights.

“The riots are the result of criminal energy, contempt for the state and the social marginalisation of certain groups,” he said.

This “highly explosive mix” also existed in Germany. Particularly in large cities such as Hamburg and Berlin, “such flashpoints could arise out of senseless provocation, which can only be contained with great difficulty,” he said.

Britain’s riots, which began in London on Saturday night after a 29-year-old man was shot dead by police, spread on Tuesday night to Manchester and the midlands. One man has been killed, more than 100 police have been injured and hundreds of people have been arrested in what is considered the worst civil unrest in decades.

Wendt cited the regular May 1 demonstrations in Hamburg and Berlin as examples of how similar unrest could swell up quickly.

“Police and politicians in Germany would be similarly overstretched in the early days of such massive riots as they were in Great Britain,” he said.

He said police needed better technical resources to monitor social networking sites and other communications methods, by which the British riots in many cases appear to have been organised.

However Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said in Potsdam on Wednesday: "I don't believe that can happen in Germany."

Earlier he had told the daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung he saw no signs of such youth violence in Germany’s major cities.

“Luckily we don’t have the kind of social friction of England and other European countries,” he said.

Germany enjoyed a consensus that violence against innocent people such as small business owners was no way to express one’s views, he said.

The centre-left Social Democrats’ interior affairs expert, Dieter Wiefelspütz, said such an outbreak in Germany was “rather unlikely.”

“We have a better safety net for social deprivation and less poverty in city areas than Britain.”

Story continues below…

That said, Wiefelspütz agreed Germany needed to be vigilant, adding that “May 1 in Hamburg and Berlin shows what is possible here.”

The National Poverty Conference, a coalition of welfare groups, warned against seeing the arrest as purely an British phenomenon. Spokesman Thomas Beyer said in Berlin on Wednesday that many young people in Germany had a similar lack of prospects.

“We have to identify opportunities for young people. They need school qualifications, training places and real chances in the community instead of sanctimonious lectures about debt limits and demographic trends,” he said.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:26 August 10, 2011 by kelsie mortimer
The riots did not take place in the whole of the UK. They took place in England. It is safe for Germans to visit Wales, Ireland and Scotland. ;-)
08:46 August 10, 2011 by auniquecorn
Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told the daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung he saw no signs of such youth violence in Germany¦#39;s major cities.

Whats so scary is this guy believes this.

He´s never seen signs of the youth beating to death people at the Bahns.

the youth having no reguard for the law.

Yes Mr. Friedrich, I have´nt seen or read anything about youth violence either.
09:07 August 10, 2011 by freechoice
Now who here still wants to propose cut in Hartz IV and other benefits?
09:13 August 10, 2011 by moistvelvet
@kelsie mortimer, what a stupid comment, it's like saying it didn't happen in England either then isn't it, I mean it wasn't in the whole of England just in London, Manchester, Liverpool... oh hold on it wasn't in the whole of London, Manchester etc just in parts of it Tottenham, Toxteth... oh hold on it wasn't in the whole of Tottenham, Toxteth etc just in some streets.... see where this is going kelsie?
09:18 August 10, 2011 by freechoice
who could have believed in wouldn't happen in England when it happen in Paris?

who could have believed a massacre would happen in peaceful Norway when a shooting rampage happened in Germany?

the general social decay of mankind around the world, are all predicted and have been discussed for centuries.

anyone remember Germany's last Facebook party?
09:33 August 10, 2011 by Asgarli
"told Wednesday¦#39;s edition of Bild" and I stopped reading the article
10:03 August 10, 2011 by marimay
Don't forget to live in fear, everyone. Never forget. The media won't let you forget.
10:09 August 10, 2011 by freechoice
you don't need the media to do that, just be lucky and be around the right place at the right time, like what i did in Germany's last facebook party, even though I am not invited, i was there doing my Weekend shopping!
11:02 August 10, 2011 by yourholiness
Nah, it could never ever happen here. Germany has no multicultural problem.
11:08 August 10, 2011 by Johnne
Why are the German Police bothering about what is happening in the England? when they know they won´t kill youths like chickens just because they look "ghetto like & troublesome" ? I grew up btween the UK, Germany & Nigeria. I see first hand discrimination and social deprivation in the UK, economic deprivation of certain groups, mainly ethnic minority in Germany, and unbalanced society in Nigeria..Where the gap between the rich and poor is extreme. Tottenham has always been a tagged area because of it´s ethnic minority population. Pekham and areas in East london, Govan, Lincoln Avenue, Easterhouse, Castle milk and other areas in Glasgow-they all need attention. People in these areas are deprived..I know what I´m saying cos we have family houses in London, Luton & Glasgow.

I lived in Glasgow with my wife (german) for many years and she can testify to it that life in the UK for these people is very very hard. Germany should learn from this. Instead of dis-integrating people from their own communities and allowing right wing extremists to create policies for them, they should move closer to the people. Give people the chance for good education, good prospects in getting jobs, and encourage them to be inovative entrepreneurs. We wll all gain from it and have a peaceful soceity. Ghettos are being created in Berlin, Hamburg Frankfurt, Köln and some parts of Munich (Perlach & some parts of Goethe str.) Police brutality and hatred for Police officers are growing. We need to work together and trust each other once again. Family laws should protect fathers from being totured in the hands of ex wives/gilfriends because of the partial custody laws & mal-treatment of the male. This creates broken hearts, broken relationship between father & child, broken homes, and then broken soceities.
13:21 August 10, 2011 by rutledm
Moistvelvet....chill out ein bisschen...methinks kelsie mortimer was making a funny.
16:39 August 10, 2011 by Kennneth Ingle
London, Berlin, Paris, Bristol or Bielefeld, this is a European problem and the combustibles just need a small spark. The dreams of a Peaceful Multicultural society - a lovely dream - die in the flames of hate raging through England. With the dreams, of many native and migrant citizens, the hopes better for a life also die. Who can now trust his neighbour? Who is ready to employ an unknown quantity?

Governments have chosen to ignore the wartime slogan "waste not want not" rather they play on the stage of international prestige, while at the same time ignoring the needs of their own electorate. The doors have been opened to all and sundry, without first assuring that the necessary conditions required exist, ( personal qualification, secure place of employment and affordable abode),. Rather than think, they call the critics of such insane policies (quite wrongly), racists.

No one can be held responsible for the country of birth, the colour of skin, or the religion learnt during childhood, these are all influences over which none of us have power. But everybody can learn to respect national values held by the people in the country in which they live. Those who do not and carry out criminal actions, deserve the hardest punishment.
17:00 August 10, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Let this be Lesson, Germans! You had better give them EXACTLY what they want! Like Johnne said. Move closer with to people!;D

This is a fault with native German and UK Society, and this racism must End NOW;P
17:48 August 10, 2011 by JAMessersmith
Freechoice said: "the general social decay of mankind around the world, are all predicted and have been discussed for centuries".

Quite the contrary. The world is a far friendlier, and healthier place than it's ever been before. The generation that survived WWII would've been far more justified in pointing out the moral decay of society. Even 30-40 years ago, many countries were isolated from the rest of the world, and their citizens weren't allowed to travel freely. Ideological warfare was being waged between capitalists and communists, and the threat of a nuclear holocaust always loomed large. Comparatively today, wars are fought on very small scales, civilians are no longer targeted like they once were, and racism is frowned upon throughout the developed world. In global trade, the world is working together as it never has before, and the standard of living in many developing nations is getting better by the day. Advances in medicine have prolonged our lives, and advances in technology have made our lives far easier and more comfortable. So if you actually put history into perspective, one would think those who lived through the Black Death, or WWII, or what have you, would be far more justified in believing the end times are upon us compared to our pampered and privileged generation.
18:26 August 10, 2011 by michael4096

"Germany has no multicultural problem"

The problem with a one track mind is that you miss the point - even when trying to be sarcastic. The problem is not a multicultural problem and whether Germany suffers from one or not is irrelevant.

As Herr Wendt points out, one problem (of 3) is "social marginalisation of certain groups". The problem can occur if any groups are marginalized, not just cultural groups, so Germany is neither immune nor at-risk. The British riots are not directly race related and rioters, looters and clean-up squads come from all ethnic backgrounds.
19:13 August 10, 2011 by BrainWave19
These riots are, I guess, more to do with socio-economic issues than multiculturalism...example of France, Britain, etc. could be delved into deeply...German socio-economic scneario is better off and hence stands lesser risk chances.....but then hooliganism does exist everywhere albeit in varied degrees.....However, Germany cannot sit comfortably considering homeland peaceful co-existence cannot be broken, hence it is better to watch out by the police and society...the so called social policing by the people might help prevent such issues.
20:03 August 10, 2011 by yourholiness
@ politicallycorrectmichael4096

It's not a multicultural problem! The non British hooligans have been marginalized? Good to know, is marginalized the new politically correct buzzword for folks who refuse to fit in? I'm sorry for the British, they're reaping what they sowed years ago.
21:14 August 10, 2011 by marimay
I blame retarded gang-banger music.
22:24 August 10, 2011 by yourholiness
Thats right marimay, music has more effect on behavior than many people realize.
01:20 August 11, 2011 by Ludwig von America
There are protests going on in the UK. Obviously, the government must be rotten and it's leaders need to be kicked out. How soon can we help these helpless protesters out? How about a UN resolution authorizing military force to protect these innocent civilians? Let's also recognize the protesters as the new legitimate government. How soon can we send in the fighter jets loaded with bombs to enforce a "no-fly zone"? Come on world...are you going to just sit there and do nothing while this evil government brutalizes innocent protesters?
04:08 August 11, 2011 by vonSchwerin
"I don't believe that can happen in Germany."


I would say that riots are more likely in Germany than in England. They may not start because of a police shooting. They may not be grounded in racial strife. But Germany is far more susceptible to urban riots than Britain.

Every 1 May riots erupt in Berlin. Why? Because it's 1 May are people are "supposed" to riot. Ridiculous self-proclaimed anarchists need no excuse to attack police, who are just doing their job. These self-proclaimed revolutionaries need no excuse to firebomb BMWs whose owners have dared to buy such a car after working hard to earn the money.

What's worse is that the German criminal justice system seems ill-equipped or unwilling to deal with such thugs.
09:36 August 11, 2011 by freechoice
i think the reason why riots happen in England is because of the great social divide in the country, where welfares have been cut and majority of young people are unemployed, while at the same time they were brought up being neglected by their parents and they indulged in binge drinking to numb themselves. bottled up anger finally explode into riots. immigrants or not, they are all affected. what do you think?

just a week ago, people were busy discussing Murdoch in UK. now the focus has changed. is he lucky or that's just a pure coincident?
10:13 August 11, 2011 by storymann
Those of you following the barbaric rioting in Britain will not have failed to notice that a sizable proportion of the thugs are white.

Not only that, but in a triumph of feminism, a lot of them are girls. Even the "disabled" (according to the British benefits system) seem to have miraculously overcome their infirmities to dash out and steal a few TV sets

Congratulations, Britain! You've barbarized your citizenry, without regard to race, gender or physical handicap!
10:24 August 11, 2011 by yourholiness
Could be, storymann, some people are very easily lead. Looks these days like the Brits are finding out that cheap labor isn't as cheap as they thought it was.
11:14 August 11, 2011 by Sastry.M
The Times of India dt.10'th Aug. reported that ballistic tests were conducted by Ballistic Intelligence Service on fragments of a bullet modified to maximize its destructive power in the remains of ammunition found in the radio of an armed officer involved in the arrest operation in Tottenham Hale. Initial reports suggested that the officer has been saved by the bullet striking his radio and it had been fired from the hand gun recovered later from the Taxi carrying Mark Duggan. The test analysis hinted that the bullet fragments were from Police issue Ammunition and could not have been from a weapon fired by Duggan. According to reports last Monday night ,the suspected gang member Duggan was carrying a stater pistol modified to fire live bullets and never fired on cops.

Duggan was instead killed by one of two rounds fired by a CO19 officer. .Evidence suggests that Duggan did not brandish a firearm and that a CO19 officer came close to killing one of his colleagues.

Now what is happening in Britain? If private conversations were hacked up and leads suggested Big Business involvements it was easier to close up an age old newspaper than report progress of investigations to the British public. And now Londoners are wistfully watching the burning of a famous land mark Croydon family business house. The Rakshas(Demonic) powers get fortified and become active only after sunset and deep into nights and wither away towards early hours of daybreak.

Now it is the turn of British people to wake up to calls of rebellions and revolutions for freedom and democracy and deal effectively with the riots at home.

As for the Germans facing likely such a situation the seals of Kristallnacht may be readily available in British newspapers stores.
18:05 August 11, 2011 by michael4096

"is marginalized the new politically correct buzzword "

No, 'marginalised' were the guys who helped Julius Ceasar into the top job over 2000 years ago - not much new about it

And, as far as your repeated and rather unoriginal use of 'politically correct', you are just proving your ignorance of the current British political climate. Herr Wendt (who used the word 'marginalised') would not be considered correct in the political circles reacting to these riots.

@Sastry.M - Kristallnacht cannot be repeated unless those demonizing minority groups of people manage to get much, much more support for their far fetched ideas. They managed it once but the British and Germans are much more aware of the dangers now.
22:43 August 11, 2011 by yourholiness
@ michael4096

Its you who is unfortunately ignorant of the situation. The very fact that Wendt used the term "marginalized" shows that he is indeed politically correct and unable to recognize the problem and as we all know those who are unable to recognize the problem are powerless to deal with it.
10:46 August 12, 2011 by michael4096

Webster' definition of Politically Correct...

"conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated"

As neither race nor sex are an issue in the British riots, perhaps you can give us your definition of Politically Correct. Just so that we know what you are calling the head of the German police union.
11:43 August 12, 2011 by yourholiness
Race is not an issue in the British riots and the pope is not Catholic.
12:23 August 12, 2011 by michael4096

- the British government have said that race is not the issue

- the British police have said race is not the issue

- rioters themselves and their victims have said race is not the issue

- the German police have said race is not the issue

Indeed, the only ones that I see claiming the riots were race significant are neo-nazis and yourholymess
13:52 August 12, 2011 by Al uk

If you ask the ordinary person on the street over here the majority of them would disagree with your last statement.

Do you honestly think that a PC state like ours would ever saying anything different.
14:48 August 12, 2011 by mos101392
"More than 1,850 people have now been arrested, the majority in the capital"

I know Australia is out of the question!

But Isn't there another remote island somewhere they can all be dropped off and forgotten?
14:52 August 12, 2011 by yourholiness
Of course race is an issue, the British government is too frightened to say it.

The spark of this race riot started because a black violent, gun carrying drug dealer, with a history of violence got stopped by the police and he fired upon them, the police returned fired and killed the thug.

So the Black and Muslim community respond by starting to riot. Good move to prove the British polic should not target you, when you destroy your communities and "indiscriminately" attack everyone!


London riots 2011: Hackney to Croydon violence shows no sign of abating | Mail Online

rioters are made up of almost exclusively Black and non-Whites ­ and that they are targeting White people:

Several commuters fell to the ground during the stampede as about 20 black men wearing balaclavas and riding BMXs chased them.

Elsewhere rioters were said to be targeting white people.

Mounted police formed a line as rioters set fire to four cars outside [predominately White] Pembury estate.

CCTV footage of one looter

Kara Mahoney said gangs were targeting white people to rob them.

She said: ¦#39;About five white people just got beaten and robbed. There is a group of them. They hit a photographer and stole her cameras. She had blood gushing down her nose.¦#39; The attackers were mostly black youths, but they were joined by white men, women and children.

One eye witness in Hackney saw a group of 100 Turkish Kurdish men chasing another group with sticks and bottles after their shops were looted.

Rob Berkeley, director of the Runnymede Trust, which researches issues of race and equality.

"Race is clearly playing a part in the backdrop to these riots "
16:49 August 12, 2011 by LiberalGuy

Maybe you should read two blog from Rob Berkeley, then afterwards feel free to use him as evidence of your race riots.

Here are the links



You're trying to use Al Gore to promote offshore drilling

Class as much as race has to do with this.
17:00 August 12, 2011 by odtaa
Although the original riot in Tottenham was originally by black youngsters the riots and looting and murder in West Ealing, (London) and Manchester were nearly all white.

What is surprising is that many of the looters caught have reasonable jobs - which scares me. On top of the looting there were some brutal robberies, eg diners in a restaurant robbed and beaten up and people being assaulted escaping from an attack on a bus, which was then set on fire.

In some areas race played a part, in some other areas class, in others it was just the police as the enemy and many were just in it for a laugh or to grab some goods.

There has been a gradual erosion of respect and sense of community in the country. There is a significant minority of young people leaving skill with no qualifications and often unable to read or do maths.

I can't give an explanation of why. Our parliament has little respect from their behaviour and from the financial scandals. The City of London seems to dominate the country with 'casino' investment bankers still getting millions in bonuses, while the mess they made of the economy ends up in increased taxes, drastic reduction in jobs and prices rising.

Mrs Thatcher pulled the plug on public housing and at the same time removed rent controls. Her government policies destroyed many working class industries, such as ship building, mining etc and whole communities have been devastated.

She once said that 'There is no such thing as society' - I think her grand children believe her and will smash their way into a shop to get their TV, sports gear or booze.

The Anglo-Saxon American/UK financial model does not work.
17:12 August 12, 2011 by Al uk
@odtaa as much as i dislike Thatcher she left office in 1990. These are new Labours children who are now growing up. The left wing liberal agenda followed by new Labour has come to fruition.

Free of responsibility and consequences. The something for nothing, i am owed a living by the state, the feckless, the ones who play the race/religious card are all a by product of a failed left wing social product.

To bring Thatcher into it it ridiculous. She decimated the area where i am from but Labour had years to fix it but actually made it worse.
17:59 August 12, 2011 by storymann
This is not about racial inequities ,although they do exist.

With a welfare system far more advanced than the United States and Germany, the British have achieved the remarkable result of turning entire communities of ancestral British people into tattooed, drunken brutes.

I guess we now have the proof of what conservatives have been saying since forever: Looting is a result of liberal welfare policies. And Britain is in the end stages of the welfare state.
19:15 August 12, 2011 by michael4096
@hisHolyMess I stand corrected, I should have said...

"Indeed, the only ones that I see claiming the riots were race significant are The Daily Mail, neo-nazis and yourHolyMess " - I'll add BILD too, if you want

@Al UK - by coincidence, I've spent the best part of the last two weeks in Manchester (And, not seen any riots, problems or anything else btw). Talking to people 'on the streets' I do get some racial undertones just as one does in Europe, the US and all countries. However, people I consider worth listening to of all colours and creeds are pretty unanimous that this isn't are re-run of the early eighties. Like me, people I trust to see through 'political correctness', government posturing and other paintboxes are just not seeing any whitewash here.
21:29 August 12, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ yourholiness #33

You might want to refresh your knowledge related to the start of the riot. "he fired upon them, the police returned fired and killed the thug." - that's what police initially claimed in order to cover up the killing. The official investigation showed that Mr. Duggan did not fire his gun and the bullet that hit a police officer was shot by another police officer. It is just another case of British police covering up a killing (they did this also against white people; I am pretty sure that this contributed a lot to build disrespect for the law).
13:34 August 16, 2011 by yourholiness
Apparently there is some discussion about the circumstances around the shooting of Duggan but that does not change the fact of high unemployment in Britain. If that country hadn't been so liberal with its immigration policy there might be a smaller unemployment and worker dissatisfaction problem today. "IIdle hands are the devil's workshop."I
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