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CRIME

Police: We understand why you don’t feel safe

The head of Germany's biggest police union said it would be launching a “safety alliance” between different states' forces as there were parts of the country where people justifiably no longer felt safe.

Police: We understand why you don't feel safe
Photo: DPA

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“There are zones within cities in which the citizens no longer feel safe, and rightly so,” Oliver Malchow, head of police union the GdP, told Der Spiegel magazine ahead of announcing the “safety alliance” launch on Monday.

The group will be tasked with figuring out how best to police areas with rising crime levels. This will likely include more officers on the street, increased CCTV presence, public alcohol bans and better protection for emergency services when called to incidents.

“Our mission to protect the state and to assert our monopoly on the legitimate use of force cannot be undertaken alone,” said Malchow.

The GdP, which has 180,000 members, also warned of an increase in football violence on Friday which will also be assessed by the “safety alliance.”

“Recent brutal clashes in central Cologne highlight that football violence is intensifying, and shifting onto streets and public transport,” said Malchow.

READ MORE: Smash-and-grab raiders drive car into Berlin Apple store

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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