The security check has also long been the norm in Saxony's courts. The constables keep objects that are or could become dangerous - usually until their owners leave the building again.
Dresden (dpa/sn) - During the security checks at the entrance to the approximately 50 Saxon courts and public prosecutor's offices, everyday objects that were less dangerous and usable as weapons were seized in 2021 than in the previous year. The Ministry of Justice assumes that the restricted visitor traffic and corona protection rules are responsible for this.
That couldn't be explained exactly, said a ministry spokeswoman. Access restrictions could play a role - or that personal details are recorded. But it is also conceivable that awareness has grown of not having any dangerous objects with you when you go to the courthouse.
As the statistics show, the level in 2021 has more than halved compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019 - from 16,847 to 6,688. In 2020 there were almost 9,300 cases, in 2018 almost 16,900. According to the ministry, pointed objects and irritant sprays came out of clothing or bags in the past year. Their number has more than halved since 2019. The inspectors also confiscated 88 knives covered by the gun law and four stun guns.
Two visitors refused identity checks, there were also insults, verbal abuse and damage to property, but also a bomb threat, three suspicious letters sent, four cases of attempted coercion and ten each of attempted physical assaults and threats. Security-related events that endanger people or affect departments and work processes have been recorded since 2019 - they have also decreased, from 66 in the year before the pandemic to 46 in the first and 43 in the second year of Corona. Incidents with mask refusers increased.
After the violent death of a witness in 2009 in the Dresden district court, the Free State had invested several million euros in court security. Access controls have also been strengthened - including mobile hand probes, locks and more staff. The Egyptian Marwa El-Sherbini was stabbed to death out of xenophobia by the defendant during an appeal hearing. The bloody deed had sparked nationwide horror, protests in the Islamic world and a debate about security in courts.
Since then, there have been constant checks at district courts and justice centers, and sporadically at smaller district courts, including with metal detectors. The security concept for courts and public prosecutors' offices has been completely revised and expanded, the prison guard service has been staffed and better equipped, said Justice State Secretary Mathias Weilandt. Concepts and guidelines "are regularly evaluated and adapted as needed".
Other dangerous objects will be taken into custody for the duration of their owner's stay in court, in 2021 also small pocket, fruit or cutter knives - or a hammer with two 15 centimeter long nails at the Dresden Social Court.