Police have declared Flensburg city centre as “dangerous” and have introduced new control checks only weeks after Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted the existence of no-go zones in Germany.
The police introduced the new measures in order to combat the rising tide of young gang violence that has been a major problem in the centre of Flensburg since the start of the year, German broadcaster NDR reports.
The new programme will allow police officers to question anyone within the area, force them to provide identification, and allow them to search backpacks and other belongings without a warrant. The measures are only designed to last for the next four weeks, but can be extended if needed.
One of the main reasons for the timing of the programme is an upcoming fair set to take place this weekend. Police say they are focused on preventing violence and other crime ahead of the event.
Sex attacks almost double in Berlin "no-go zone" https://t.co/3ma5bDEgOd
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Assaults, theft, and violent robberies have increased in the city centre since the start of the year and many are attributed to the rival youth gangs which operate in the city. A week ago, youth gangs organised a mass brawl between 50 young men aged between 14 and 21 in what has been the largest act of violence so far this year in the city.
The existence of troubled areas, commonly referred to as no-go zones, has been denied by many in the mainstream media and in politics; but in a startling turn late last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted such areas exist in Germany. “One has to call them by their name and do something about them,” Merkel said.
Areas like Alexanderplatz in Berlin or Eberplatz in Cologne, have been labelled no-go zones due to the large presence of criminals including asylum seekers and other migrants, dealing drugs, assaulting people in the area, and robbing them.