Police arrest 200 football fans after riots

Dortmund police have said the level of violence between rival Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 fans on Saturday was the worst in years as nearly 200 arrests were made before the Ruhr derby.

Police arrest 200 football fans after riots
Photo: DPA

Schalke claimed a rare victory which was over-shadowed by violent clashes in Dortmund between fans and police, with eight officers injured.

A total of 180 football fans were arrested, 163 from Schalke and 17 from Dortmund, with police seizing fireworks, pepper spray, reinforced gloves and other weapons. Fans also tore up paving stones to throw at officers and opposition fans.

The organised violence is of obvious concern ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League group game between Real Madrid and the German champions in Dortmund.

“The level of violence was much more severe than in previous years,” said Manfred Radecke from the Dortmund police. He added that the German Football Federation (DFB) would almost certainly be investigating the rioting.

“We have to plan for riots and deploy the correct number of officers and put a plan in place.

“But we hadn’t expected that things would degenerate to such an extent and that we would need to use a water cannon and tear gas.”

Police used tear gas to break up the melee when a 600-strong group of Schalke fans was attacked by masked Dortmund supporters on their way to the Signal Iduna Park stadium.

A water cannon was also used to prevent Schalke fans tearing down a fence near the stadium, while a restaurant near the ground was ransacked with Dortmund fans using the broken furnishings as weapons.

“We don’t regard these people as football fans,” added Radecke. “They use every opportunity to play out their aggression and if police have to step in, they are happy to target them as well.”

An under-17 match between Schalke and Dortmund took place on Sunday with a large increase in police numbers.


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German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.