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German deputy calls for police protection for bathers

The Berlin FDP MP Marcel Luthe has demanded that the police be deployed in the summer at the outdoor pools of the capital for security reasons.

Published: July 16, 2019, 12:13 pm


    So far, private security companies have had to take care of the conflicts arising at the various swimming pools, he told the news agency dpa.

    In recent weeks, fights at swimming pools have repeatedly made headlines. In Düsseldorf, for example, a bathhouse had to be evacuated twice by law enforcement within a short time. In another case, the perpetrators targeted bath attendants.

    The chairman of the Association of German Swimming Pools, Peter Harzheim, has called for a tougher crackdown on the perpetrators. “The number of thugs is constantly increasing. That’s a terrifying development. We are facing tough times,” he told the Rheinische Post.

    On Tuesday evening a public pool in Haltern-am-See, a town in the district of Recklinghausen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, was the site of a mass brawl. According to police, some 20 people started throwing chairs and other objects at each other. Three of the thugs were injured. “A comprehensive survey of all participants could not take place without interpreters,” the police report noted. The officers took down the personal details of twelve men and issued referrals.

    On Monday evening, eight men had attacked and injured a lifeguard at an Essen swimming pool. When a colleague hurried to his aid, the group also attacked him. Only when a third lifeguard came along, the attackers fled. They also beat a twelve-year-old girl, according to police. The child and one of the lifeguards were taken to a hospital.

    The Mayor of Essen Thomas Kufen (CDU) condemned the incident. “I am outraged by the disrespect of the perpetrators.” He announced in a statement that the security service at the swimming pool will be increased from the current three to six people.

    Also in Berlin riots broke out after the temporary closures of outdoor pools. The focus was on the districts of immigrant areas Kreuzberg and Neukölln.

    The perpetrators are mostly young migrants, said Harzheim. They are also responsible for the rise of sexual assault in bathrooms. “Women are massively harassed by migrants. Swimmers are abused. In addition, there is a high level of violence and the lack of any respect,” he told the magazine Emma.

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