In Berlin, 33 emergency services were injured on New Year’s Eve. Faeser advocates “sensitive prison sentences” for “violent offenders”. A nationwide firecracker ban is not in the room.
The federal government has condemned the numerous attacks on the police and rescue services on New Year’s Eve. However, she sees no reason for a nationwide ban on pyrotechnics at the end of the year.
“The federal government, including the Chancellor, of course, condemns these massive attacks on police and fire services, volunteers and journalists on New Year’s Eve in the strongest possible terms,” said deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann in Berlin.
Government: The rule of law must not allow attacks
The government has great confidence in the investigative authorities of the countries that the perpetrators would be consistently identified. She added: “The rule of law must not allow people who celebrate peacefully in our cities and emergency services who are on duty to be exposed to such attacks.”
When asked whether a ban on firecrackers and New Year’s Eve rockets was being considered, a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior referred to existing prohibition rules – for example in the vicinity of hospitals and retirement homes – and the possibility for states and municipalities to set up so-called firecracker ban zones.
Faeser for criminal consequences
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser also spoke out in favor of penal consequences. The SPD politician, on the other hand, does not consider it necessary to change the law again. “The penal regulations for the protection of police and rescue workers have – rightly – been tightened considerably in recent years,” said Faeser on Monday. Now it shows how necessary the change in the law of 2017 was.
It is crucial that these penal provisions are now applied and enforced with all consistency against “chaotic and violent criminals”. “Sensitive prison sentences can be imposed with it,” emphasized the minister.
Giffey calls for nationwide debate
Berlin’s governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) meanwhile called for a nationwide debate on the consequences. “Of course there is a need for discussion here, that’s completely clear,” said Giffey on Monday in Berlin. “It’s also clear that it won’t just be a Berlin discussion, it has to be a nationwide discussion. We can’t make certain regulations in Berlin alone.”
The federal chairman of the police union (GdP), Jochen Kopelke, said: “Every targeted attack on a person in uniform must lead to investigations and a court hearing with a harsh sentence”. In addition, every attack on police employees must be recorded, because this is the only way to create a realistic picture. Good psychological and pastoral care for the emergency services as well as sufficient service sports, cures and rehabilitation periods are also necessary.
Police and rescue workers under fire
In several cities, police and rescue workers were hindered in their work on New Year’s Eve and fired on with firecrackers and rockets. Nowhere, however, did these attacks take on such proportions as in Berlin. The fire brigade and police counted a total of 33 injured emergency services in the capital.
In May 2017, the Law on Strengthening the Protection of Law Enforcement Officers and Rescue Workers came into force. Since then, attacks on police officers, investigating public prosecutors, military police and other security forces can be punished with up to five years in prison. Previously, there had only been a special threat of punishment for attacks during enforcement actions such as arrests, since the reform also during any other official action. Likewise protected are by the change forces of the fire brigade, the civil protection and the rescue services.
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