Faeser for higher penalty for ambush

On New Year’s Eve 2018/19, police officers in Frankfurt secure rescue workers who are transporting an injured person.
Image: Boris Roessler/dpa

After the New Year’s Eve riots, the Federal Minister of the Interior is now in favor of an amendment to the penal code. Anyone who directs the police or rescue workers into an ambush should be punished more severely. A neighboring country is a cautionary tale.

NAfter the riots on New Year’s Eve, according to a report, criminal law is now to be tightened. According to information from “Bild am Sonntag”, the Federal Ministry of the Interior asked the coalition factions in the Bundestag in a letter on Friday to examine tightening criminal law. Accordingly, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) proposes that the deliberate lure of police and rescue workers into an ambush should in future be punished with a minimum prison sentence of one year in prison instead of the previous six months.

According to the newspaper report, the letter states that increasingly brutal violence against police and rescue workers underlines the need for a clear legal-political signal. This must clearly emphasize the particular reprehensibility of these acts and punish them in a qualified manner.

France as a negative example

A look at countries like France shows that this development, “if it is not decisively counteracted, could escalate further in a progressive brutalization,” the newspaper reports from the ministry letter.

After the New Year’s Eve riots, Faeser initially did not agree with the demands for tightening of penalties. On the other hand, she called for more consistent use of existing punishment options when convicting perpetrators.

On New Year’s Eve, emergency and rescue services in Berlin and other cities were massively attacked. In some cases, the police had to be deployed to protect firefighters from attacks while they were putting out fires.

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