Disputes about compliance with the corona rules are escalating more and more frequently, according to the police unions.
“There is still a high level of acceptance for the Corona rules, but we are also noticing that the mood is starting to become more aggressive – for example when we as the police want to enforce the measures,” said the union’s vice head of the police (GdP), Jörg Radek, the German press agency. “Then there is resistance. It starts with insults, then there is bullying, spat, coughing. Our colleagues experience all of this in this pandemic.”
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Not only mask refusers trigger missions
The operations did not only come from so-called mask refusers. Citizens who want to be protected have recently called for their protective rights more strongly and in some cases more aggressively and, for example, pointed out mask refusers of their misconduct. “That is why there are now more such bets,” said Radek – but this trend cannot be substantiated with figures.
The Federal Chairman of the German Police Union (DPolG), Rainer Wendt, points out that there are no statistics for such attacks. “But there are more and more reports from the police force that the acceptance of the Corona rules has decreased overall and that action is increasingly open and aggressive against emergency services who are supposed to monitor and enforce compliance with the regulations,” said Wendt.
Mask requirement and distance requirement as a dispute trigger
In particular, the mask requirement and the distance requirement, according to the police unions, repeatedly cause disputes. The mask requirement was introduced by the first countries in public transport and retail in April. Most recently, it was partly extended to other public areas with crowds.
As can be seen from reports from the state police, there have recently been disputes over corona rules almost daily.
Zwickau: man beats with ax
In a supermarket in Zwickau, Saxony, a man recently lashed out with an ax when he was reminded of the mask requirement. In Mülheim in North Rhine-Westphalia, a 66-year-old caught a 55-year-old with her car after shopping in the supermarket and injured him slightly. He had previously asked the woman to wear mouth and nose protection and to keep her distance.
In the Bavarian town of Kaufbeuren, five police officers were slightly injured during a check in a bar. And controls escalated in rail traffic too, where mask requirements apply.
Wendt sees reason in unclear regulations
DPolG boss Wendt sees one reason for this in unclear regulations. The acceptance of political decisions is rapidly declining because politicians are unable to explain the sensibility of decisions made, said Wendt, also with a view to the bans on accommodation.
From Radek’s point of view, however, it is less the contradicting regulations that cause disputes. “Many people simply feel annoyed by the rules. If alcohol is added or group dynamic processes are connected with it, this can contribute to further escalations,” said the GdP vice-president.
The police are burdened in two ways
For the police, enforcing the corona rules is an additional burden in two respects. On the one hand, the risk of infection increases the occupational risk that is already there.
On the other hand, the workload also increases when the police are increasingly asked for administrative assistance in enforcing health protection. “The forces that are then used for health protection are then missing elsewhere,” said Radek.
Wendt also sees this burden: “But at the moment there are no alternatives to police controls if Germany wants to continue to get through the crisis well.”