Cash-strapped police disband display team
Berlin's record-breaking police motorbike display team has disbanded, a lack of cash forcing them to hang up their green leathers for the last time this week.
"At least €150,000 a year would be needed to keep the group and maintain the fleet of bikes," police spokesman Stefan Redlich told the BZ newspaper.
"In view of the lack of equipment our officers have, we simply had to use the money better elsewhere."
The world has seen the last of the 28 men and four women in green leathers performing manoeuvres such as the headstand pyramid and the five-man carousel, balanced on each other and a bike while being carefully driven around in a circle.
They broke two world records during the 1990s, with 84 police officers on nine motorbikes in 1994 and 50 on just one bike four years later.
It was a fabulous way for the members of the team to see the world too, with more than 1,000 performances abroad.
But this is all over, and by the middle of December the team will be gone. "It is making us all very sad," Georg Franke, former superintendent and head of the team since 1957 told the BZ.
"We have handed in our uniforms and as far as I know the motorbikes will later be auctioned off," the 80-year-old said.