Change to help Polizei better handle conflicts
The city of Wiesbaden instituted a new weapon-free zone Jan. 1. All kinds of potential weapons such as knives, screwdrivers, sharp-edged or pointed objects, clubs, baseball bats, axes and weighted-knuckle gloves are prohibited between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. The zone includes Kirchgasse, Langgasse, Michelsberg, Platz der Deutschen Einheit and parts of the Westend to Hellmundstrasse. By the end of January, signs will be in place indicating the exact location of the “Waffenverbotszone.”
The new regulation enables the German Polizei to handle and prevent conflicts in the city center more effectively. Especially young men have a tendency to solve disputes with a knife, said Thomas Becker, first police chief inspector with the Wiesbaden Police Directorate. Now, the Polizei have the power to check suspicious persons without a particular cause and confiscate their weapons. In addition, they can fine people up to 5,000 euros.
Members of the military police on duty are not affected by the regulation, Becker said. Military police who are not on duty, however, will have to respect the new rules like everyone else.
The weapon-free zone only applies at nighttime because this is the time when most conflicts occur. The timing also ensures workers who need certain tools, such as screwdrivers or carpet knives, can do their jobs, and shops can sell tools and knife sets legally, Becker said.