Germany mulls knife ban on public transport

Germany’s Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser wants to take stronger action against knife violence and is calling for a ban on knives on public transport after several serious knife attacks that have made headlines in recent weeks.

“Those traveling by plane are also not allowed to take knives with them,” Faeser told Funke Mediengruppe newspapers on Thursday. “Violent criminals can do terrible things with knives.”

On Tuesday, a 33-year-old woman was attacked with a knife while traveling on a bus in Berlin with her seven and nine-year-old children. The mother had to undergo emergency surgery and, according to police, her condition is stable. Authorities are still searching for the perpetrator.

In March, a 12-year-old girl was stabbed to death by two girls of almost the same age. Due to their young age, the perpetrators were not subject to criminal law, which in Germany only applies to minors aged 14 or higher.

Reversing the positive trend in previous years, Germany saw a significant increase in recorded crimes in 2022. After declining for five years, the total number of crimes rose by 11.5 percent, according to official crime statistics presented at the end of March.

The increased share of children and adolescents under 14 years of age in the number of suspected offenders is alarming. According to the official report, the figure went up 35.5 percent to more than 93,000 cases.

Psychologists in Germany warned against a “hasty legal decision” on lowering the age of criminal responsibility. This could have “fatal consequences for children and young people and thus also for our society as a community,” the country’s professional association said. ■

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