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POLICE

Berlin policeman stabs ‘dawdling’ British tourist

A Berlin policeman chased two British tourists and injured one with a knife in the Neukölln neighbourhood early on Monday morning after deciding they were crossing the road too slowly.

Berlin policeman stabs 'dawdling' British tourist
The Maybachufer, where the attack took place. File photo: DPA

The off-duty policeman was driving along a street in the north of the trendy southern Berlin district, when at around 3:45am he came across the British tourists ambling along the road.

Police report that the officer confronted the men verbally and a short exchange of words ensued. He then got out of his car and followed the 19- and 24-year old visitors.

He struck the older of the two in the face and stabbed him in the buttock. The young Brit needed to be treated in hospital as a result of his wounds.

Police confirmed to The Local that the two tourists have since been released from hospital and have returned to the United Kingdom.

In his defence, the 29-year-old policeman has claimed that one of the two young men attacked him with a knife. Police report that the off-duty cop had a wound on his hand which also needed to be treated in hospital.

An investigation of the officer on suspicion of carrying an illegal weapon has now been initiated.

Police are refusing to comment on whether he will continue to serve while the investigation takes place.

SEE ALSO: Police hunt neo-Nazi who urinated on children

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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.

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