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1100 police officers on duty in Berlin on New Year's Eve

Silvester in Berlin

Police officers stand behind a barrier at the Brandenburg Gate on New Year's Eve 2021.

The Berlin police will be on duty with around 1100 police officers on New Year's Eve.

"We expect a similar New Year's Eve to the one before the Corona pandemic," police chief Barbara Slowik told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "This means a significantly increased volume of operations." The police are countering this with an increased presence of emergency forces in the city area. She said that Berlin could not plan for reinforcements from other federal states because the police all over Germany were under great pressure that night.

Three firecracker ban zones planned

According to Slowik, a ban on fireworks and New Year's Eve firecrackers is planned in three areas: Alexanderplatz, around Steinmetzstraße in Schöneberg and at the prison in Moabit. At Alexanderplatz and in Schöneberg there had been more attacks on policemen and policewomen as well as firefighters in the past on New Year's Eve. "In the past years, we have had good experiences with these no-go zones.

No pyrotechnics at the Brandenburg Gate

To ensure that no rockets and firecrackers are set off there, the police put up barriers, control the entrances and also search people and bags. A ban on pyrotechnics also applies to the New Year's Eve celebration at the Brandenburg Gate, which this year will take place on Pariser Platz. Spectators must register for the event in advance.

After escape in 2018: ban zone around Moabit prison

The no-go zone in the streets at Moabit prison exists this year because in the past numerous people threw firecrackers from the street onto the grounds or fired rockets in the direction of the prison. As a result, according to the police, there were around 180 alarms on New Year's Eve 2018, "which led to a confusing situation and considerable security gaps". One prisoner took advantage of this at the time and escaped. In 2019, 323 alarms were registered by the cameras around the prison during the night. In 2020, there were 46 fewer alarms because there was a no-fireworks zone due to the Corona pandemic. In 2021, a no-fire zone was ordered again and there were fewer alarms.

No additional ban zones planned

Slowik said that further restricted zones had also been considered. However, this was rejected because a large number of police officers would have to be posted and would not be available for further operations at night. "I think it is the right way to concentrate stationary measures on a few relevant areas," said Slowik.

Special focus on certain hotspots

"We are much more effective if we are on the move flexibly in the city and can react where it is actually necessary: where riots take place, where people shoot fireworks at each other, fire alarm guns or even attack rescue workers." Of course, the police also pay special attention to certain other places, such as Neukölln with Karl-Marx-Straße and Hermannplatz, as well as the area around the Gesundbrunnen S-Bahn station.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 26 December 2022
Last updated: 26 December 2022

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