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CRIME

VIDEO: Hamburg district ‘pees back’ at drunks

Hamburg's St. Pauli district welcomes 20 million loud, messy and heavy-drinking party guests every year. Now residents have discovered a method to fight back against public urination.

VIDEO: Hamburg district 'pees back' at drunks
A local man explains the community's action against "Wildpinkler". Photo: Screenshot

"It was a real annoyance that was growing and growing," St Pauli Interest Community (IG St Pauli) board member and owner of several local bars Uwe Christiansen told The Local. "We wanted to bring people to reason."

While researching ways to discourage “Wildpinkler” – “free pee-ers” – annoyed members of IG St Pauli came across a hydrophobic paint which literally makes water droplets bounce off.

That means that anyone hoping to relieve themselves in unorthodox locations around the neighbourhood must reckon with the risk of a soaking for their shoes and trousers.

Now there are signs reading “Don't pee here! We'll pee back,” on specially-treated walls around the area.

Although the paint has only been in place for a few days, Christiansen said that local people welcomed the new move.

"I've seen in Facebook and the local newspapers that the reactions were very positive. People were just tired of the peeing on walls, home entrances and playgrounds," Christiansen said.

The group recommends that partygoers take extra care, as not all the walls they've painted are marked with signs.

“Watch out! From now on, it's Peeback time,” said Julia Staron of IG St Pauli in the group's video.

 

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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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