More and more zones without rule of law in Germany

A police officer describes her everday life in German major cities

rt. A reader’s letter in the magazine Deutsche Polizei caused a stir in November 2013. In this letter, Greek-born police officer Tania Kambouri talks freely about her everyday experience as a policewoman on patrol. She precisely describes how lawless areas are established throughout all of Germany, mostly in muslim-dominated areas in Bremen, Berlin and the Ruhr region. She is evermore confronted with mounting problems when practising her profession; she gets less and less respected for being an officer. Furthermore, her own consternation is distinctly shown when she doesn’t meet with the appropriate decency as a human being and gets offended in her dignity. Her letter found widespread consent amongst her colleagues.
These reactions encouraged her to lay down her experiences in a more detailed manner in her book “Deutschland im Blaulicht. Notruf einer Polizistin” (Germany in the blue-lights – A policewoman’s emergency call). Starting out from witnessing everyday situations as a policewoman on patrol like false parking, arguments, fights or ID controls, the 33-year old describes how the key rule of the liberal-democratic constitutional order is less and less respected, especially by certain immigrant groups. They no longer accept the police as representatives of the government order, but see them as an enemy. Practically, this means that police officers can not fulfill their duty more often because with increased frequency they risk being exposed to physical violence. The law just can no longer be enforced. That is how legal vacuums are being established, where the law of the jungle is reigning instead of the state’s rule of law.
Kambouri is also sceptical about the so-called “peace judges” of muslim-informed clans, who increasingly settle differences between muslims. They don’t judge according to German laws but according to their traditions. This solidifies parallel structures and the undermining of the legal order. Up to now, politics and justice close their eyes to these facts. This is one of the reasons why Kambouri demands more political and judicial succour for the work of the police.

But she does not only point to the shortcomings, she also analyses potential reasons and suggests expedients. It may not be a coincidence that she builds on the suggestions made by the – sadly far too early deceased – Berlin public prosecutor Kirsten Heisig.1 Neutralising these parallel structures can only be achieved by means of consistent and effective enforcement of federal norms and respective constitutional methods. And this process has to begin already in kindergarten. Terms like learning the German language as well as decent cooperation with the parents have to be expected and demanded. Anomalies and infringements – even the small ones – have to be sanctioned in time to achieve a learning success or rather a change of behaviour. Affected administrative bodies and institutions must liaise closely during this process. Even a shortage of social benefits must be taken into consideration. Similar to Heisig, Kambouri affirms a connection between delayed or rather weak sanctions and stabilisation of delinquent behaviour.Despite several attempts of political usurpation, Kambouri won’t let herself be taken over into a certain scheme. Her position is that of the German constitution. For her, it goes without saying that it is possible for each and every migrant to integrate him – or herself actively into the country, which the majority actually does. Therefore, personal contribution and acculturation is required, and those efforts have to be demanded by society.At the end of her book, the author describes the increasing difficulty of the police’s everyday life. It is getting obvious that police officers in Germany have to endure an unbearable amount of insults and even physical violence and are often let down by politics and justice. Tania Kambouri demands more understanding and support.    •

1     Kirsten Heisig. Das Ende der Geduld. Konsequent gegen jugendliche Gewalttäter. ISBN 978 3 451 30204 6

(Translation Current Concerns)