Hanover, Germany (dpa) – It should be easier and less intimidating for police officers to register questionable behaviour by their colleagues, the head of Germany’s national police force said in comments published Sunday.
To that end, Dieter Romann told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that he is thinking about setting up a special complaints division that would be available to hear concerns and complaints that might be hard to air in standard formats.
Consideration of the new procedure has been prompted by recent reports that an officer at the main train station in the northern German city of Hanover had abused two refugees who were being detained there for minor offences and had then bragged about his behaviour on social media.
The new complaints process would be overseen by an officer who reported directly to Romann. Romann said one goal would be to make sure that allegations are investigated in a timely manner. In the Hanover case, the events only came to light six to 12 months after they allegedly occurred.
Further investigations into the matter have dredged up reports that the officer in question may have threatened a colleague with a gun in a break room in 2013.
The point of the new reporting process would not be to lay blame on one another, but for police departments to stop bad behaviour before it gets out of line.
“There would only be consequences once the behaviour is thoroughly investigated.”