Thematic focus: The city as a dangerous place

Securitized cities
by Bernd Belina

Cities are considered to be spaces of insecurity and crime. Policing and other measures of security are traditionally legitimized by the fear of “dangerous classes“ and “foreigners“. Such “securizations“ are always a reaction to social processes. Currently this is particularly the case with processes of gentrification (i.e. the realization of capital through urbanization), migration questions and urban protests.

Precarization of migrant (sex)work in cities
by Jenny Künkel

In the context of gentrification, cities have enlarged the off-limits areas for prostitution. Migrant sex workers have become subject of police controls. With the eastern enlargement of the EU, city administrations try additionally to restrain migration by excluding migrants from the health and welfare system.

Who’s afraid of the Kottbusser Tor?
by Nora Keller

The Kottbusser Tor is a big crossroad and a metro station in Berlin district of Kreuzberg. Many of the several thousand local residents are migrants and many live in poor circumstances. In the course of gentrification, there has been a steady rise of rents in the last years. Since 1996, the Kottbusser Tor is considered as a “crime-prone place”, where the police is authorized to stop and search people without any specific cause or suspicion.

Policing for profit: Governing through annoyance
by Volker Eick

“Policing the city” is also a question of policing for profit. In which state and position is the security-business today? What is its place in the “security architecture”? What are its tasks and who gives the orders in the (semi-)public space of small towns?

Contested public space: Recent legal developments
by Wolfgang Hecker

Begging, loitering, sleeping and alcohol consumption in public spaces have been issues of debate and jurisdiction since the nineties. Time and time again, new legal measures are proposed and the courts have to decide – an overview of the current state of affairs.

Dangerous fans: Security regimes in the stadium
by Anna Kern

The commercialization of german football made the skirmishes between fans and the use of pyrotechnics in stadiums a matter of security politics. This is not just about the safety of large crowds, but foremost about certain groups of fans, who are considered to be a threat to public order.

Smart City: The city as data-oil-field
by Nils Erik Flick

“Smart City” is a current trend in municipal politics. Comprehensive sensor technology is supposed to lead to more effective governance and control of traffic and resources. The “smart city”, however, shall also be a “secure city”. Interconnected CCTV and predictive policing are two buzzwords in this context that also revives old conceptions of surveillance and control.

Non-thematic contributions

EU Security Research Programme: lacking Democracy and Transparency
by Chris Jones

By 2020, the European Union will have invested over 3 billion Euros in the European Security Research Programme, which is supposed to develop “innovative technologies and solutions that address security gaps and lead to a reduction in the risk from security threats.” In practice, the programme has been dominated by corporations and major national research institutes who seem intent on introducing a surveillance society in the name of public security.

The Reid Method of Interrogation and its Traces in Germany
by Heike Kleffner

The „Reid“ method of interrogation is being discussed critically in the USA for a few years. Police officers from Bavaria, who participated in training for the method in the early 2000s, have been involved in two major cases: In the investigation of the killing of the nine year old Peggy Knobloch, police in 2002 obtained a false confession from a mentally ill man. The real murderer never was found. In the murder series, committed by the National Socialist Underground (NSU), police ignored during a decade the racist background.

Police shootings and shooting training
by Oesten Baller

Between 1990 and 2017 276 persons died in Germany due to police shootings. In many cases, the victims were mentally ill or disoriented; often they held a knife in their hands. Legitimization of fatal shooting via police law has become exceptional; most of the cases are justified as self-defence. Police training more and more focusses on fast reactions with often lethal consequences.

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