Dhe 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 Berlin Senator for Culture, Klaus Lederer (Die Linke), brought such a thing into play.
“The Federal Government, and of course the Federal Chancellor, condemns these massive attacks on police and fire brigade operations, volunteers and journalists on New Year’s Eve in the strongest possible terms,” said deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann on Monday in Berlin.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) had previously been “stunned and angry” about the attacks on emergency services on New Year’s Eve. “Chaos and violent criminals attacked police and rescue workers with massive brutality, fired on them with firecrackers and rockets, disabled them, threatened them and put them in great danger,” she said. This shows “a brutalization that requires consistent action”.
Faeser added that penal regulations protecting police and rescue workers have been tightened significantly in recent years. Now these would have to be “applied and enforced with all consequence against chaotic people and violent criminals”. Sensitive prison sentences could be imposed.
One dead and several seriously injured
In Berlin and Hamburg in particular, emergency services from the fire brigade and police were attacked on New Year’s Eve. Accordingly, they were targeted at night with fireworks. In Berlin there were 33 injured emergency services. In other parts of the country, too, the police spoke of the most intense New Year’s night in years. Among other things, there was one dead and several seriously injured after violent firecracker explosions.
“Brutally attacking police officers, paramedics and firefighters must be punished with the full force of the law,” said the interior minister on Monday in Berlin. Because they protect everyone in Germany and must be able to trust that the rule of law will also protect them.
The German fire brigade union called for emergency vehicles to be equipped with so-called dashcams, small cameras with which attacks could be better documented. “It is unimaginable what our emergency services had to experience on New Year’s Eve,” said state chairman Lars Wieg.
The police union (GdP) urged a harsh reaction from the judiciary and politicians. The interior ministries must ensure that “such a night” is not repeated, said GdP chairman Jochen Kopelke. In addition, “any targeted attack on a person in uniform” must lead to “investigations and a court hearing with a harsh sentence”.
“What is this nonsense with the firecrackers?”
Berlin’s Senator for Culture, Klaus Lederer, called for a ban on selling firecrackers. “That would have to be regulated by federal law,” said the left-wing top candidate for the Berlin repeat election on RBB Inforadio. However, he fears that the FDP will “push people’s freedom to the fore” and thus block such an advance. He himself was clear in his position: “What’s the point of this nonsense with the firecrackers? Nobody needs that.”
Lederer sees an expansion of the no-gun zones critically, because many emergency services are needed to enforce it. After all, you can’t multiply your staff on New Year’s Eve, you have to work with what you have. “I actually wish that we use our police officers for what they are there for and not for cat and mouse games in the city,” said Lederer.
On New Year’s Eve, the police and fire brigade in Berlin had almost 4,000 operations together than on New Year’s Eve before the pandemic. In numerous cases, emergency services were attacked with firecrackers and rockets. More than 30 police officers and firefighters were injured. There were three no-gun zones throughout the city.