The dispute over a police station at Kottbusser Tor is escalating – now the opponents of the Kotti station are apparently going directly to Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD).
On the night of Tuesday, previously unknown persons attacked Spranger’s citizens’ office in Berlin-Biesdorf, where she has her constituency as a member of the House of Representatives.
An employee of the property protection of the Berlin police noticed the damage around 2.30 a.m. According to the information, the perpetrator or perpetrators had smeared a slogan over a length of six by one meter on the facade of the house on Köpenicker Straße, in which the citizens’ office is located. There the saying could be read: “No Kotti guard”.
A window in the office was also damaged, police said. The state security of the State Criminal Police Office has taken over the investigation and assumes that the crime was politically motivated.
Spranger wants to have the 200 square meter police station built on the upper floor of the high-rise building above Adalbertstrasse by the end of the year. For the SPD politician, it is a prestige project in the crime-ridden place.
Berlin’s governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) commented on the incident at the Senate press conference on Tuesday: “We discussed it today in the state government. We strongly condemn such attacks,” said Giffey. The citizens’ office is located in a medical center. Butyric acid was used in the attack, which had to be neutralized by the fire brigade. The citizens’ office and surrounding corridors and locations were affected by the stench.
The discussions and plans for a police station in the place with a lot of crime, party life, drug trafficking and a partly anti-police scene have been going on for a long time. Residents hope for a more relaxed atmosphere through more police, left-wing groups fear more controls and an escalation.
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In addition to the 250,000 euros budgeted for the Kotti guard station, 50,000 euros in annual rent have been taken into account.
Interior Senator Spranger announced in March that this budget could not be met. She recently said that more precise cost planning is in progress and has not yet been completed.
However, the costs are increasing rapidly. According to internal calculations, the costs have now increased tenfold to 2.5 million euros compared to the 250,000 euros planned in the draft budget. Because of the costs and security requirements, the police union (GdP) had also criticized the choice of location.
The guard is also said to be a response to crime numbers. In 2021, the police recorded 3,628 crimes at the “crime-prone place” Kottbusser Tor, this year by the end of March 817 – sexual offenses, pickpocketing and shoplifting, drug offenses, all of them. Leader last year with 759 offenses: Violation of the Narcotics Act. This year there were already 163 drug offenses by the end of March.