Düsseldorf. In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Cologne is the city with the highest number of spots considered dangerous. This is the response received by the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) in its inquiry to the state government.
None of the areas named were in Bonn. According to NRW Interior Minister Ralf Jäger (SPD), from a police perspective there are 13 places that they regard as having a reputation as a bad or dangerous area. From a legal standpoint, this means that in these locations police can inspect persons without a specific reason.
“What is important is that these are not No-Go-Areas,” said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. “The definition as a ‘dangerous place’ gives police the legal basis to determine the identity of the people who are there,” said the ministry spokesman. In normal cases, citizens are not obliged to present identification without a reason, a spokesman for the Cologne police added.
In March 2017, police named 25 areas considered dangerous. But not all police stations reported; Duisburg is missing on the list for example. In Cologne, on the list is the area in front of the Cologne Central Train Station, Ebertzplatz in the inner city, the Görlinger Center in Bocklemünd and the Kölner Ringe (Cologne Ring roads). They attract partiers from the region and are particularly rowdy on the weekends.
‘Bonner Loch’ is not on the list
Police in Bonn say the only area that might have come into question here is the so-called ‘Bonner Loch’, the area across from the Bonn Central Train Station. However, rebuilding and redevelopment in that area takes it out of the equation at this time. But police say they will continue to keep an eye on the area.
In Wuppertal, the Berliner Platz and the area around the Oberbarmen train station are considered “dangerous.” The Maghreb-Quarter in Düsseldorf is no longer considered a dangerous area.
The individual police stations themselves determine which areas to include on their list of dangerous places. If a person refuses to provide identification, however, and takes it to court, police must be able to prove it. In Wuppertal, for example, police evaluate figures on street crimes and police calls, but even a single serious robbery could suffice to declare a place as “dangerous,” said the spokesman. (Orig. text: Olivia Konieczny)