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Germany’s capital sees a decrease in New Year’s violence, police say


  • Berlin authorities have reported a decrease in violence during New Year’s Eve celebrations in comparison to the previous year.
  • The holiday saw the temporary detention of 390 people and injuries to 54 police officers.
  • A significant police presence of 4,500 officers patrolled the city, which was the highest number in decades.

Authorities in Berlin said Monday that New Year’s Eve celebrations in the German capital were more peaceful compared to last year despite the temporary detention of 390 people and 54 police officers being injured.

Police said many were detained for violating the Weapons and Explosives Act, either using illegal firecrackers or firing them off at officers or other people

Some 4,500 officers patrolled the city at night to prevent a repeat of the 2022 New Year’s Eve riots. It was the strongest police presence Berlin witnessed in decades.

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On Sunday night, police banned the use of traditional firecrackers across the city.

Fireworks explode around the Berlin TV Tower during New Year celebrations in Berlin, Germany, on Jan. 1, 2024. Authorities in Berlin say that New Year’s Eve celebrations in the German capital were more peaceful compared to last year despite the temporary detention of 390 people and 54 police officers being injured. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Both the city’s mayor and Germany’s interior minister had vowed a zero-tolerance strategy toward rioters, particularly any trying to attack officers.

“It turned out that the many months of preparation by police and firefighters … have paid off,” Berlin’s top security official Iris Spanger wrote on social media platform X, formerly Twitter. She condemned “every single act of violence,” saying that “every injured colleague is one too many.”

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German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, in a statement, thanked the officers deployed. She it was clear that increased police presence coupled with “an early crackdown” comprised “the right strategy against riots and violence.”

A year ago, Berlin witnessed violent excesses during New Year’s celebrations, in which rioters targeted and attacked officers, firefighters and medical personnel with fireworks, causing an uproar across the country. Online videos at the time showed people firing rockets and throwing firecrackers at police cars and rescue vehicles which drew widespread condemnation from German authorities.



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