Violence against police and rescue workers increases significantly

Violence against police and rescue workers increases significantly

Police officers are increasingly being brutally attacked in the line of duty. According to a response from the federal government to a question from the FDP parliamentary group, the number of violent crimes against "law enforcement officers and persons of equal rank" has risen by 22 percent in four years.

In 2017, 4527 of them were victims of violent crimes nationwide, according to a response obtained by the german press agency. In 2013, 3710 rescue workers were attacked.

This statistic does not include firefighters, civil defense and rescue workers. According to the federal criminal police office, 222 rescue workers were attacked nationwide in 2014. In the following years, around 280 volunteers and 280 full-time rescue workers were attacked. In spring 2017, the bundestag passed a new criminal offense to protect wind turbines.

The statistics also do not include cases of simple bodily harm against police officers. Because these are below the threshold of crimes that are recorded in the police crime statistics (PKS) as "violent crimes". Between 41 percent and 49 percent of those who attacked emergency personnel in recent years were under the influence of alcohol.

The proportion of female suspects recently increased slightly. It was around 13 percent in 2017. In the case of "resistance against police officers," the police statistics showed an increase of 7.6 percent over the previous year for non-german suspects; for german suspects, the police recorded a decrease of 1.8 percent.

One reason for the increasing violence against police officers is, according to the deputy federal chairman of the police union (gdp), jorg radek, an "increasing disrespect for people in uniform and rescue service personnel". In everyday life, his colleagues often experience: "I ask for the ID card, and I get the fist".

Eleven stabbings and slashings were used against federal law enforcement officers last year. "We also have an increase in absenteeism from duty as a result of serious bodily injury," radek said.

FDP interior politician benjamin strasser said: "it is also frightening to see the brutality with which our security forces are attacked when cutting and stabbing weapons, irritants, incendiary and pyrotechnic devices or even motor vehicles are used as weapons of crime."Strategies for dealing with such conflict situations had to be sufficiently taken into account during training. The federal and state interior ministers had to take all possible steps to effectively protect the fire department and the THW, for example.

Since may 2017, attacks on law enforcement officers and rescue workers have been punished more severely. Bavaria’s justice minister winfried bausback (CSU), however, does not think this goes far enough. He told the german press agency: "but we can’t stop there: instead of a minimum sentence of three months, i think a sentence of six months for actual assault is appropriate."Those who work day and night for the safety of citizens must be consistently protected against violent attacks.

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