In some places, the start of the new year developed into a New Year’s ordeal for the rescue workers. A number of firecrackers attacked rescue workers and police officers with the pyrotechnics. A first rioter has now been sentenced to prison. All news is available here in the ticker.
Monday, January 16, 5:49 p.m .: The Berlin police have submitted new figures for the New Year’s Eve riots. This is reported by “ZDFheute”. There have been 102 criminal charges in connection with attacks against emergency services, which are assigned to 39 suspects. More than 30 procedures have already been sent to the public prosecutor’s office, it says.
Of these, 38 are male and one is female. 14 people have German citizenship and ten others have dual citizenship. The police also gave the age of the suspects. The majority are under 25 years old. 17 are minors, 12 are between 18-25 years old, 2 are between 26-30 years old, one person is between 31-35 years old, 4 are between 36-40 years old and 3 are over 41 years old.
The police initially spoke of 145 arrests, but this number also included other crimes such as arson. 59 of the 102 criminal charges relate to attacks on the police, 43 on fire and rescue services. The police also released the nationalities of those arrested in connection with the 145 arrests. According to the police, the number of suspects could continue to change. In addition to the 152 reports submitted so far, more reports can be received via an online reporting portal.
Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 2:09 a.m .: After the riots on New Year’s Eve in Berlin, CDU party leader Friedrich Merz called for a stronger presence of the rule of law in hotspot locations. If the state looks the other way all year round, focal points and legal vacuums could develop, said Merz on Tuesday evening on the ZDF program “Markus Lanz”. “I think we’ve looked the other way in Germany for too long, for too many years.” There are such focal points in Hamburg, Berlin and Leipzig, for example.
“As a rule of law, we have to counter this earlier,” said Merz. He pointed out that many of the perpetrators of the Berlin riots on New Year’s Eve had a migration background. “We are dealing with a real problem of a lack of integration of young people,” said Merz. “I’m not one of those who say in general: Those who live here as foreigners are not integrated. This is nonsense.”
There is a problem with a small group of foreigners. “These are mainly young people from the Arab world who are not willing to follow the rules here, who enjoy challenging this state,” said Merz. The sociologist Aladin El-Mafaalani from the Institute for Education at the University of Osnabrück contradicted this statement. Merz talks to him “a bit much about people of Arabic origin”. The police recorded a number of other nationalities. “So you’re probably going to have to take that back in a week or two.”
Because of the New Year’s Eve riots, 145 people were arrested in Berlin, including numerous teenagers and young adults. They were of 18 different nationalities. Berlin’s governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) has invited to a “summit against youth violence” this Wednesday.
12.04 p.m .: Berlin’s police chief Barbara Slowik has defended the deployment planning for New Year’s Eve in the capital. The riots and attacks on emergency services were “neither to be expected nor predicted,” said Slowik on Monday in the Interior Committee of the Berlin House of Representatives.
In total, including the federal police, almost 3,000 emergency services were available. The police officers were regrouped depending on the situation. Slowik also rejected criticism that a water cannon that had been kept ready had not been used. Such a use makes sense for large crowds of people, but not for smaller groups that move quickly in the streets.
The chief of police also broke down the numbers of injured officers: 14 of the 47 injured were treated on an outpatient basis and 5 left the service. The injuries to an officer who was hit by a pyrotechnic article under the helmet were particularly serious. Another suffered an immediate shot from a stun gun. Discussions on psychological care were held with 31 police officers.
Slowik also dismissed criticism that all 145 suspects arrested on New Year’s Eve were released. There are only very limited grounds for detention, including the risk of recurrence. There are essentially only three reasons for ordering pre-trial detention: risk of escaping, risk of collusion and the seriousness of the crime, which only applies to “serious crimes”.
12.02 p.m .: In connection with the New Year’s Eve riots, the Berlin police have now handed over 22 procedures with around 10 suspects to the public prosecutor. That said police chief Barbara Slowik on Monday in the interior committee of the House of Representatives. There are a total of 102 procedures, according to Slowik. According to the current status, there are 49 procedures for attacks on police officers with 37 suspects and 53 procedures in which firefighters were attacked.
The police are working “really with high pressure” to clarify what happened, Slowik emphasized. She concentrates primarily on the evaluation of the extensive video material. However, the first witnesses would also be heard. Some of the video recordings are very good, Slowik explained. Investigators such as so-called Super Recognizers, who have special face recognition skills, are also involved in the evaluation.
Monday, January 9th, 6:07 a.m.: The Berlin police have updated their statistics on the New Year’s Eve attackers who have been arrested for the time being. According to the new figures, 38 people have been taken into custody – not 145 as originally announced. Two-thirds of them are Germans, as reported by the “Tagesspiegel” based on police figures. Most of them are under the age of 21, it said. Previously, 18 different nationalities had been mentioned. The report had triggered a new debate about the suspect’s migration background and the lack of integration.
The report goes on to say that the 145 provisional arrests refer to the total number of arrests for various offenses on New Year’s Eve. These relate to attacks on officials, but also arson, breach of the peace and violations of the explosives law.
Sunday, January 8, 9:45 a.m .: The district court of Heilbronn sentenced a 30-year-old rioter from New Year’s Eve to 9 months without probation. This is reported by the SWR. It is said that the conviction was carried out in an “accelerated procedure” for resisting police officers.
The man is said to have set off fireworks on New Year’s Eve on Heilbronn’s market square. According to the “Bild” newspaper, among other things, he threw a firecracker into a group of children. When police officers tried to take the personal details, the man resisted and attacked the officers. He was carrying a knife and tear gas.
The man, who had previously been sentenced to probation in two cases and was to be deported to Tunisia in 2019, was initially taken into custody because of the risk of absconding. He was then sentenced on Thursday, four days after the attack. According to SWR, the verdict is the first in the latest model project for accelerated procedures. It is not yet final.
1:16 a.m .: Berlin’s school senator Astrid-Sabine Busse (SPD) has pleaded for more social work with young adults in connection with the New Year’s Eve riots. In an interview, she told the “Tagesspiegel” (Saturday edition) that there are already many youth work offers for teenagers. “We obviously have to expand youth social work offers for young adults.”
Busse did not want to confirm an integration problem based on New Year’s Eve. “First of all, these are Berlin children and young people. They live here.” However, attacks that endanger people and damage to private property should not be tolerated, said the senator. Busse ran a primary school in Berlin-Neukölln for almost 30 years.
On the night of New Year’s Day, police officers and firefighters were attacked in several cities, including with firecrackers and rockets. The attacks were particularly violent in some areas of Berlin.
Saturday, January 7th, 2023, 12:18 am: Berlin’s Prime Minister Franziska Giffey has once again rejected criticism from CSU leader Markus Söder that Berlin is becoming a city of chaos. “If 145 chaotic people mess up in a metropolis of almost four million, you can’t conclude that all the other residents here are also chaotic,” said the SPD politician to the “Berliner Zeitung” (Saturday). “Bavaria also has a lot to do in front of its own door, for example in terms of Reich citizenship. I don’t give Mr. Söder any advice either.”
On the night of New Year’s Day, police officers and firefighters were attacked in several German cities, including with firecrackers and rockets. The attacks were particularly violent in some areas of Berlin. Söder said after the riots: “Unfortunately, Berlin is developing into a city of chaos – starting with politics, which can neither organize elections nor guarantee the safety of its citizens.”
Since the riots, the consequences and future prevention have been discussed at the political level. Giffey mentioned five points in the interview: “Firstly, consistent criminal prosecution with accelerated procedures. Secondly, increasing the number of staff and equipment in the police and fire departments. Third, the commitment to tightening gun laws at the federal level. Fourth, additional investment in local social and youth work. Fifth, a special program to support and improve the living situation in large housing estates together with the neighborhood management.” In Berlin, the elections to the House of Representatives are to be repeated in February after a number of mishaps.
11:20 a.m .: After attacks on firefighters and police officers on New Year’s Eve in Bonn, investigators identified eight suspects. On Friday morning, the apartments of the 16 to 19-year-old young men in the districts of Medinghoven and Duisdorf were searched, the police said. The search focused on possible evidence such as cell phones and clothing. A 17-year-old was slightly injured in the operation.
On New Year’s Eve, a group of people set fire to garbage containers and then threw stones and firecrackers at the fire brigade. When the police intervened, their officers were also attacked.
The suspects are said to have largely planned and carried out the attacks on the emergency services. “They are said to have agreed to meet in a chat group beforehand,” says the Bonn police. The first indications of those allegedly involved came after the provisional arrest of a 19-year-old shortly after the crime. A leaflet campaign and the call to upload videos of the crime to the police information portal gave further clues.
State security is investigating, among other things, for serious breaches of the peace, attempted dangerous bodily harm, arson and property damage.
You can read more about New Year’s Eve on the following pages.
Knowledge – Why do we celebrate New Year’s Eve? Easily explained
New Year’s Eve with children – great ideas for a celebration together