by Otto Diederichs
This issue of Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP has once again shifted its focus from specific aspects and areas of police activities and attempts to deal with police work in a much more general manner, and that more at the level of what we would consider to be general police work in the more traditional sense. Day-to-day safety concepts are the focus of our interest in the present issue. This includes such classic examples as patrol duty as well as the incessant expansion in the creation of special units and task forces or the partial delegation of such activities upon private-citizen ‚partners in security‘.
Metropolis – Breeding Grounds for Crime?
by Wolf-Dieter Narr
Major cities are characterized by the large number of individuals which inha-bit them. This conglomeration of individuals has numerous effects. Indivi-duation, increasing anonymity, daily confrontation with strangers and people one perceives to be alien to one’s self are but a few of the immediate effects of life in the city. Does this, however, justify making major cities into breeding grounds of crime? Do statistically significantly more crimes take place in major cities and do they take place more often? Do security panics in conjunction with the expansionist calculi of varying political and economic interests really join forces to produce a new and different ‚fortressification‘ of major cities? Or could it be that the criteria for analyzing these problems being used by politicians, the police and social scientists are now longer adequate to the problem? The author, a professor of political science at Berlin’s Free University, attempts to deal with these questions.
Problems of Metropolitan Police Forces
by Jürgen Korell
Metropolitan newspapers are repeatedly filled with stories of persons who have lain dead in their apartments for weeks without being noticed by neigh-bors or elderly persons who have waited for weeks before anybody discovered that they were in need of aid. Not knowing anything about one’s neighbors and living next door to one another without ever making one another’s acquaintance are typical phenomena in day-to-day living in major cities. This growing anonymity is making policing increasingly difficult work. Centrally located police agencies have increased the distance between citizens and the police so that in many cases people do not even know where the next police station is located. The author, himself a police officer and a member of the ‚Federal Working Association of Critical Policepersons‘ describes the difficulties of modern police work and police attempts to minimize these difficulties through structural reforms.
Police Patrol Duty
by Otto Diederichs
Traditionally, patrol duty i.e. predominantly visible police presence is one of the most basic activities of policepersons. According to the police concept this activity is intended to provide early warning with reference to dangerous situations, to prevent such situations from occurring and generally prevent crimes from being committed. In the public’s perception of this activity, the vast majority of patrol duties are performed in motor vehicles and very little is performed on foot. Thus police patrols are largely seen as measures to give the public a feeling of security. The question, however, arises as to whether police patrols can actually perform the tasks they are meant to perform and to fulfill public expectancies. The article attempts to deal with these cogent issues.
The ‚Operational Group City West‘
by Volker Eick
Back in 1986, West Berlin’s Senator for Interior, Wilhelm Kewenig, promised the business community in the vicinity of West Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm, to free West Berlin’s version of 5th Avenue „of all demonstrators“. Subsequent efforts to clear the area of street-vendors, panhandlers, homeless persons, consumers of illegal substances, and other undesirables led in 1993 to the creation of the ‚Operational Group City West‘. The article reviews the early planning stages, the activities and effects of the special police unit.
Police and Youth
by Otto Diederichs
The figures are indeed alarming: A study prepared at the University of Essen revealed that in 1989 adolescents and teenagers ranging from 14 to 21 years of age committed at total of 259.943 criminal acts. Estimates for the years 1990-1993 for the states of the former Federal Republic arrive at figures in the vicinity of 380.000 per year. Figures such as these lend themselves to never-ending extrapolation. In the public view children and adolescents are growing increasingly criminal and brutal. Such fears are hardly new, however, nor are attempts to deal with it through the creation of special youth units, etc. This article analyzes the developmental path of such special units for the war on youth crime and raises significant questions as to their ultimate value.
by Johann Wein
In general, local police precinct boundaries coincide with county borders in the state of Bavaria and are staffed according to the size of the territory to be policed by between 30 and 80 officers. Typically the distance to the next higher staff unit, the police directorate, is more than 60 km. The author, a middle level police officer with fifteen years of experience in rural police work describes his day-to-day activities on the job.
The ‚Partners in Safety‘ Test Program in Brandenburg
by Griet Newiger
In May of 1994, Brandenburg’s Ministry of the Interior introduced its test program ‚Partners in Safety‘ in an effort to confront the public demand for more and greater public safety as well as to preempt numerous attempts at spontaneous vigilante type groups from gaining any popular legitimacy. In ten different regions volunteers were selected for patrol duties in their local neighborhoods under police supervision. The article reports on their deve-lopment to date, their specific objektive and makes some preliminary judge-ments as to progress to date.
Crime Prevention Councils
by Silke Stokar
Although crime prevention councils have long since become established in-stitutions in the USA, Great Britain and other European countries, the first one was established in Germany in 1990 in the state of Slesvig-Holstein. It was named the ‚Council for Crime Prevention‘ and is organized as a text-ex-empt non-government organization. Its board of directors includes represen-tatives from the state Ministries of the Interior, Justice, Education and Social Affairs. The Council members include representatives from the Ministry of Justice, victims‘ aid organizations, counseling services, church organizations, self-aid groups, insurance companies and the police. In the meantime similar councils have also been established in North Rhine Westphalia and Baden-Wuerttemberg. In Lower Saxony such a council is already on the drawing board. The survey article’s author, domestic affairs spokesperson for the Coalition 90/Greens faction in the state assembly of Lower Saxony, has already announced that her faction intends to „become substantially involved and to critically monitor“ the project.
Public Order Agencies in the Midst of Police Data Processing Practices
by Claudia Schmid
Since the ‚General Act for the Protection of Public Safety and Order‘ went into effect on April 26th 1992, the legal basis for all police data-processing activities has become a reality. One of the inherent difficulties is that this legislation not only has an effect on policing in the streets, it also governs the activities of higher agencies of public order. Berlin’s deputy data protection commissioner, the author of the article, deals with some of the problems this situation has created.
Constitutional Protection Through Breach of Law (II)
by Udo Kauß
In 1991 it became necessary for the first time to select a data protection commissioner. As a result of a proposal by the Brandenburg state legislature faction of the Coalition 90/Greens a former of Baden-Wuerttemberg’s state legislature and data protection expert, Thilo Weichert, submitted an applica-tion for the position. At the time, the incumbent President of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz) and current under-secretary of state in Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior, Eckart Werthebach, ordered a dossier on Weichert to be prepared and distributed this secret file among members of the Brandenburg legislature. Both the federal data protection commissioner as well as two administrative review courts have classified these activities as illegal. The case is pending before the federal administrative review court. In addition, a criminal investigation of Werthebach’s activities has also been initiated. Udo Kauß’s article trace developments in the case to date as a follow-up to his first article on the case published in Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP 47 (1/94).