Berlin (dpa) – Police have reported difficulties on duty to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) since the start of the Corona crisis.
In an online conversation with the Chancellor, a Berlin police officer noted an increase in the tendency to use violence among people protesting against measures taken by federal and state governments to contain the pandemic.
“A certain reliability of regulations and standards” is important, he emphasized. Because even citizens who are prepared in principle to comply with the rules are often not exactly aware of what is currently applicable. Gerke Stüven, chief of the police commissioner at Wildeshausen in Lower Saxony, said that “it is difficult for us as a police force to work with appeals procedures and recommendations”. The officials needed a “legally secured field of action” or they would not have the right to enter property, for example to enforce contact restrictions.
Meanwhile, Merkel criticized the AfD’s choice of words, which had spoken of a “Corona dictatorship” in the Bundestag. She told the police officers: “We also have to be extremely careful, you can see from the language in the German Bundestag, that in some cases it is getting more and more radical” – especially on the part of the AfD, which chooses dramatic words. “Words are always the harbingers of action, so our job is to really end them,” she continued.
A police officer from Thuringia said he has heard phrases like “I don’t want to do your job right now” since the start of the pandemic. An officer from the Harz region said she would like more corona tests for police officers, who are often forced to get physically close to other persons on duty, during searches, arrests or when someone resists.
Merkel said that during the Corona crisis, some people “feared this will last forever” and that rights should be permanently restricted. You could assure, “It is not.”
In addition to Covid-19, the police also discussed the current debate about racism and right-wing extremism within the police. An Erfurt police officer said that since these were only individual cases, targeted action should be taken to combat this phenomenon and not lump everyone together. Merkel stressed that she had “done everything she could to ensure that there was no general suspicion.”