Police: Black, red and gold on the patrol car? | STERN.de

Black, red and gold on the patrol car?

Fans wave German flags in the stands. photo

© Uli Deck/dpa

Berlin police officers are not allowed to decorate their patrol cars with German flags for the European Football Championship. Other federal states handle this more relaxed.

German flags on police vehicles should not be visible during the European Football Championship in Berlin. This is not allowed, said a Berlin spokeswoman Police with reference to the duty of neutrality. During the European Championship from mid-June to mid-July, six games including the final will be played in the capital, with thousands of football fans expected in the city.

There is no uniform practice across Germany

Federal states such as Schleswig-Holstein, Bremen and Thuringia do things similarly to Berlin. German flags on company vehicles are taboo there. In countries such as Bavaria, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia or Saxony, where European Championship games are also planned, there is no such regulation.

“The North Rhine-Westphalia police will, as in the past European and World Championships, appear politically neutral,” said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Düsseldorf. Above all, she will be cosmopolitan, professional and close to the people. “In the past, this was a given.” An order or something similar is not planned.

The State Ministry of the Interior in Wiesbaden said: “A regulation like the one in Berlin is currently not planned in Hesse.” There was no corresponding ban in 2006 either. However, a spokeswoman referred to the basic duty of neutrality of police officers on duty.

The Ministry of the Interior in Baden-Württemberg also does not intend to impose a corresponding ban on police officers. The civil servants would know that they have to pay particular attention to the trust shown in their office when it comes to their appearance. There is therefore no need for explicit regulations, for example on the handling of flags, banners or face paint.

The assessment from Schleswig-Holstein is different

The Interior Ministry in Kiel argues that the police are subject to the neutrality requirement. Officials must act professionally, neutrally and according to law and order. “This clearly states that no flags or banners may be attached to patrol cars during the European Football Championship.”

Saxony-Anhalt tolerates German flags on police vehicles

The Thuringian Interior Ministry sees it similarly: Regardless of the European Football Championship, the police generally do not show any flags. If a flag were to be found on a company car, the officials would be spoken to and the flag would be removed, according to a ministry spokesman.

Saxony-Anhalt is more willing to compromise: the Interior Ministry in Magdeburg argues that the display of car flags cannot in principle be permitted. However, I understand the police officers who show their enthusiasm for this sport by displaying private German flags on appropriate occasions during the European Football Championship.

“The ministry will tolerate this behavior – as was the case during the summer fairy tale of 2006 – as long as it does not conflict with police tactical requirements or traffic safety concerns.”


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