When the sun goes down over Freiburg at the weekend, 16 very special eyes open in the city: the police monitor the situation with cameras. The project has been planned for a long time and could have already been implemented - but there was one reason against it.
Freiburg (dpa/lsw) - In order to prevent night-time crimes or to make it easier to investigate afterwards, the Freiburg police switched on video surveillance in the city center for the first time on Friday. On Fridays and Saturdays as well as on the nights before public holidays, 16 cameras in the so-called Bermuda Triangle, the area where people go out, are to keep an eye on what is happening from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
According to the information, the city and the police expect video surveillance to deter possible perpetrators and prevent criminal offenses from being committed at all. Officers at the police headquarters monitored the live transmissions and could quickly alert colleagues. The recordings would be deleted after two weeks if they were not used to prosecute criminal or administrative offenses by then.
The whole thing has a long history: in 2017, the municipal council had already decided on this component of the security partnership between city and state. The cameras were installed in 2019, and the technical requirements for video surveillance have been in place since 2020.
But according to the police, it has not been used until now because street crime - favored by the corona lockdown - had decreased significantly. In the meantime, however, it has risen disproportionately compared to other parts of the city and has reached the level before the pandemic again. "In order to improve the security situation and to prevent and investigate specific crimes, video surveillance must start on July 22, 2022," said Police Vice President Matthias Zeiser.
Other cities also rely on video surveillance to better monitor the situation in central squares. Stuttgart, for example, only announced in May of this year that it would use more cameras around Schlossplatz. This is a reaction to the so-called riot night in June 2020 - and brings "all of us more security", as Mayor Frank Nopper (CDU) explained at the time.