Civilian Mobilization in the Context of Internal Security
by Hubert Beste
Following several decades of centralization Germany now finds itself addressing its attention to the local community in the public debate over „internal security“. With civilian patrols, prevention councils and various forms of security partnerships, the state is currently launching an attempt to recruit local civilian populations as co-producers of domestic security. While moving in this direction the state undoubtedly divests itself of elements of its responsibility, yet still retains its authority to direct all activities while simultaneously pursuing its neo-liberal strategy of scaling down on the path to lean government.
Volunteer Police Assistants
by Norbert Pütter and Martina Kant
This survey of more recent and traditional forms of volunteer and honorary police activity deals with the tasks, authority and equipment, personnel strengths as well as the specific activities of the Volunteer Police Services in the Länder Baden-Württemberg and Hessia, the Security Guards in Bavaria and Saxony as well as the Security Partners in Brandenburg. The Police Assistants are particularly attractive for the various agencies dealing with public safety in that they constitute an inexpensive alternative to tenured public police officers as state officials. The deployment of inadequately trained part-time police personnel contributes to the gradual de-professionalization of police work „in the streets“. At this point it is simply not possible to make any accurate predictions of whether this trend will lead to greater control pressure in the public realm or whether it will ultimately constitute little more than a symbolic gesture of the state’s security guarantee.
The Voluntary Police Reserves in Berlin
by Wolfgang Wieland
Berlin’s Voluntary Police Reserves is an invention of the cold war, as it were the West’s response to the „workers‘ militia“ which existed in the German Democratic Republic. After the wall fell they continued to exist. Under their new name Voluntary Police Service they were granted additional powers during the course of the 90’s. Yet the key characteristic of the scandalous chronicle is that they have become increasingly attractive to right-wing extremists as a rallying point.
Work, Anxiety and Sensations
by Volker Eick
Since the beginning of the nineties, informal control agencies have been developed in and alongside the police especially at municipal level. Back in 1998 the Brandenburg municipality of Bernau came up with a new variation. The so-called „citizens aids“ who are partially involved in accompanying police officers on their regular beats are recruited predominantly from among persons who have been registered as long-term unemployed whose new jobs are financed by the federal labour agency. Similar models have been initiated in the meantime in a number of other German communities. The poor now „police“ the poor.
On Patrol for the Local Administration
by Norbert Pütter
Despite all efforts to cut costs uniformed patrols have recently become increasingly popular among numerous local administrations. The scope of tasks performed by these patrols ranges from special guide services for tourists and persons from other regions to reporting impending dangers or disorder to the appropriate government agencies to issuing tickets for minor infractions of the law. At the same time that it is becoming increasingly difficult for marginalised social groups to maintain any presence in the inner cities, the message for the general public is that purported public safety can only be achieved by deploying more uniformed personnel into the streets.
by Christine Hohmeyer
Several years ago Germany’s police forces have discovered the value of neighborly control activities. Not only does these local initiative provide for apparently greater public safety at no cost to the local government administrations, they also serve a general symbolic policy of shifting the responsibility for dealing with social problems on to specific groups.
Neonazis as Informers for Domestic Intelligence
by Christoph Ellinghaus
On July 9th the president of the Thuringian political intelligence agency („Verfassungsschutz“) was suspended from office subsequent to a television report according to which a right-wing extremist had been used by the agency as an undercover agent and informer. The author shows that the incident is not an individual case. In a set of cases right-wing extremists were paid as informants.
Crocodile Tears for Migrant Victims
by Mark Holzberger
58 Chinese migrants suffocated on June 19th in a Dutch lorry in which they had been smuggled onto British soil. The tragedy serves as a welcome argument to the EU member states to shore up its efforts to combat „trafficking human beings“. Yet, the EU’s Ministers of the Interior conveniently overlook the fact that commercial refugee „smuggling“ only became possible as a result of the creation of the „Fortress Europe“.
§129b of the German Criminal Code – Europe’s Precedence
by Mark Holzberger
Due to a Joint Action adopted in December of 1998 all EU member states are compelled to introduce the crime of creating a „criminal organization“ into their respective national criminal codes. For the Federal Republic of Germany this means that although a Red-Green coalition has come into power, it will not be possible to completely do away with the catalogue of political criminal offenses introduced into the German criminal code during the anti-terrorist hysteria of the 70’s.