30 procedures after New Year’s Eve attacks in NRW
In North Rhine-Westphalia 33 criminal proceedings have been initiated so far due to attacks on emergency services on New Year’s Eve. This emerges from a report now published by the Ministry of the Interior to the state parliament. The suspects are predominantly male between the ages of 14 and 55; According to the report, “around half” have German citizenship. A total of 41 police officers were injured on New Year’s Eve.
The Ministry of the Interior presented the first figures at the beginning of January, but pointed out that an exact evaluation was still pending. Because the 233 people who were taken into custody nationwide and the 25 who were provisionally arrested were being investigated for very different crimes, the ministry said at the time. The number of 33 suspects for attacks on emergency services was now mentioned for the first time in the report to the interior committee.
Original reports have been confirmed that there were a particularly large number of incidents in the Ruhr area. The cities of Bochum, Duisburg, Hagen, Essen and Gelsenkirchen were affected. In Duisburg-Hochheide, a group of 100 to 150 people threw passing vehicles and insulted police officers.
Throwing stones and firecrackers
The place could be cleared “with offensive showing” of the batons and the irritant sprayers. According to the report, this was also done with the same means in Duisburg-Hochfeld, where two initially rival groups allied against the emergency services and a vehicle of the fire department stormed “by ripping open all the doors and trying to open equipment compartments”. In Hagen-Altenhagen, several people set fire to garbage cans and a washing machine that had been dragged onto the street and threw fireworks at the emergency services that arrived.
A case from Bonn-Medinghoven is described in detail in the report. There, a larger group set fire to the garbage container, disguised themselves when the emergency services arrived and threw stones and firecrackers at the police and fire brigade. “While the emergency vehicles withdrew from the danger area, they were initially followed by a group of people over a distance of around 150 meters,” the report says. Only when the police reinforcements arrived could the extinguishing work begin. The property damage is estimated in the report at 30,000 euros. Nobody was injured in the Bonn incident.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, there were a total of 2,945 “police measures” in North Rhine-Westphalia at the turn of the year, which is around 600 more than in the previous year and 1,300 more than in new years eve 2020. Before the corona pandemic, however, the police had registered a similar number of measures as on the most recent New Year’s Eve – in 2019 there were 2884.
The same applies to individual crimes. Compared to the turn of the year 2021/2022, they increased sharply – there was around 448 cases of property damage, while the year before 291 were registered. For the turn of the year 2018/2019, however, the statistics show 451 cases. There is a comparable statistical pattern for dangerous physical injuries: There were 174 cases at the turn of the year, 102 the year before, while 161 cases were registered in 2018/2019.