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CRIME

Attacks on train staff surge by 25 percent

Attacks on train staff increased by 25 percent in 2014, rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) said on Wednesday, although there were fewer cases of violence against passengers.

Attacks on train staff surge by 25 percent
Security staff at Frankfurt main station. Photo: DPA

There were 1,500 attacks on DB staff in 2014 compared with 1,200 in the previous year.

“We don't accept violence in our trains and stations,” DB security head Gerd Neubeck said.

“Anyone who presents a danger to others will be banned from trains and stations, implemented as part of our security co-operation with the police.”

Around 70 percent of attacks on DB premises and trains affected security personnel, with 90 percent of those treated as crimes of causing bodily harm. DB said there were few serious injuries to staff.

Many of the violent attacks happened around large events, football matches and during the weekend, although DB said that “readiness to use violence in everyday situations like maintaining order and ticket checks has increased”.

DB partially attributed the increased number of security staff deployed to enforce the rules in stations and trains for the surge in attacks.

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CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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