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Neukoelln, Berlin. Wikipedia

Hospital staff in Neukölln calls for permanent security

Employees of the Vivantes Hospital Am Urban in Neukölln, Berlin, do not feel safe enough to continue their work without the backing of security staff. The district, with a large Turkish and Arabic presence, is a well-known troubled area in the south of the German capital.

Published: September 18, 2018, 9:57 am

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    Berlin

    Two employees of the emergency department of the Vivantes Hospital Am Urban in Berlin-Neukölln have demanded fulltime security services in the building because of ongoing attacks by patients.

    In an angry letter, which was leaked to the Berliner Zeitung, they complain of unabated insults, death threats and sometimes severe physical attacks.

    The problems with aggressive patients are not new. At the beginning of the year employees had already written a letter of complaint to the hospital management about the situation. Sadly, despite the complaints, nothing changed in the desperate security situation facing medical personnel.

    Neukölln is at the heart of Germany’s immigration woes. Roughly one in five Neukölln residents is unemployed and that figure rises to 30 percent within the immigrant population.

    Social problems are reportedly twice as high as in Berlin, and some 40 percent of youths in the district have no post-high school education, nor vocational training.

    At present, employees of a security company hired in, are only on site from 4 to 4 in the morning. In addition to a permanent security presence, the authors of the letter require an emergency button to alert the police.

    The spokeswoman for the Vivantes Hospital, Kristina Tschenett, said the incidents were taken “very seriously”.

    A continuous presence of a security service will be made available as well as an emergency button will be installed “as soon as possible” she said.

    In 2010 already, mayor Heinz Buschkowsky, told Berlin daily Tagesspiegel: “Our society is hurtling towards a massive problem and we can no longer afford to rely on powers of persuasion. We are sleepwalking into a crisis.”

    In an interview last week, German residents complained that life has markedly deteriorated, becoming more “brutal” and violent.

    One resident from Ireland said he has noticed “groups of males” hanging around the neighbourhood. He was also punched in the face the previous week for no reason. “So I think there is a shift in terms of trouble,” he said.

    Two mothers with children told the Berliner Zeitung that they no longer felt safe in the streets. “These days people carry weapons,” one said.

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