Minister of the Interior Herrmann on the balance of operations on New Year’s Eve 2023

January 2, 2024

New Year’s Eve in Bavaria – Bavaria’s Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann on the operational assessment: Largely peaceful – operational concepts have proven their worth – criminal offences are consistently prosecuted

According to Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, New Year’s Eve 2023 in Bavaria was largely peaceful and comparable to the previous year. There were no major riots or excesses in the state. “The Bavarian police’s operational concepts worked,” Herrmann concluded. “Consistent intervention and a strong police presence with the support of the Bavarian riot police also proved their worth on New Year’s Eve.” The Minister of the Interior thanked the Bavarian police and the many predominantly volunteer emergency and rescue services “who worked through the night for us in order to provide rapid assistance in emergencies”. Herrmann described it as completely out of the question that individual emergency services were attacked and fireworks were thrown at them in Augsburg and Regensburg, for example. A total of 31 attacks were registered across Bavaria (previous year: 34). Eleven police officers were slightly injured. “Anyone who attacks our emergency services must expect severe penalties,” said Herrmann

Nevertheless, the Minister of the Interior believes that a general ban on fireworks would not be proportionate. “The vast majority of the population handle New Year’s Eve fireworks responsibly,” said Herrmann. A minority of chaotic people and rioters would not change this. Herrmann is convinced: “A general ban on firecrackers or the sale of pyrotechnics will not solve the real problem: the increasing brutalisation of rioters and the dwindling respect for emergency services, who are not only pelted with fireworks, but also with stones and bottles.”

According to Herrmann, the emergency services were particularly challenged in the urban centres on New Year’s Eve. The Bavarian police counted a total of 3,316 operations across Bavaria, slightly fewer than in the previous year (3,386). In addition to 503 disturbances of the peace (previous year: 502), there were 259 cases of damage to property with property damage of around 900,000 euros (previous year: 236, around one million euros in property damage) and 268 offences of bodily harm (previous year: 239). Herrmann: “All offences will be reported and consistently prosecuted!” In the Upper Palatinate, an 18-year-old died after setting off a firecracker in a plastic pipe. The police also recorded 298 minor injuries (previous year: 286) and twelve serious injuries (previous year: 17) across Bavaria. The statistics from the integrated control centres are not included. “Too much alcohol coupled with irresponsible recklessness is a highly dangerous mixture, and not just on New Year’s Eve,” explained Herrmann. Many injuries could be avoided with common sense.

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