SHARE
COPY LINK

POLICE

Police strip-search teens over missing €5

Police officers who forced teenage students to strip, some of them completely naked, in the hunt for a stolen €5 at a school in Munich are now being investigated themselves after pupils and their parents complained.

Police strip-search teens over missing €5
Photo: DPA

Teachers stood by while the children were strip-searched, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Monday.

Police offers were at the Friedrich-List Economics School last Tuesday to talk to a class of 27 students aged 13 and 14 about moral courage in a public setting, when one girl complained that €5 was missing from her jacket pocket.

This prompted the youth liaison officer to call for back-up and organize a strip-search of the teenagers. Four officers split the pupils according to gender and searched them in separate classrooms.

“Some of the schoolgirls had to briefly open their bras, while some schoolboys had their underpants searched,” police spokesman Wolfgang Wenger told the paper.

One 14-year-old boy told the paper a police officer had looked up his backside with a torch – after he had initially refused to take his underpants off.

By the afternoon, relatives of one student had called the police to complain. “Our internal investigations section took on the case immediately and went to the school that day to clear up the matter,” said Wenger.

“One can search bags and get people to take off their coats on suspicion of theft, even when it’s only €5. But obviously it was way over the top to search the students in such an intimate fashion.”

All four police officers involved are now themselves under investigation.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung said some of the students were so upset by what happened that they did not go to school the day afterwards. At least two teachers who were present at the time failed to step in to stop the searches but the school has refused to comment while the investigation is being conducted.

Public prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch told the paper he had “significant doubts about whether the measures taken were reasonable.”

The police stressed that none of the students were forced to take off all their clothes, and that the strip-search had taken place only after checking with the school authorities.

But pupils told the Süddeutsche Zeitung they all had to take off their T-shirts and trousers and that in some cases their genitals have been checked.

One witness said, “By the end, all the girls were crying, and one of the boys had burst into tears too.”

The Local/hc

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLICE

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.

SHOW COMMENTS