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German police resort to giving civilians tips on how to handle knife attacks



Germans were told to shout at their attacker and keep their distance.

Authorities in Germany have published guidelines for how civilians should respond should they come face to face with an attacker armed with a knife.


Suggestions on how to act were issued by a police spokesperson to the German newspaper, Schwäbische Zeitung, after a recent incident where a woman and her child were confronted by a man wielding a blade in the town of Bad Waldsee, Baden-Württemberg. 


The mother bravely kicked her attacker in the shin and fled carrying her child; both escaped harm. However, police were asked whether this was the right approach, and if not, what civilians should do in such a situation.


Daniela Baier, a spokesperson for the Ravensburg police department, advised those feeling threatened to act confidently.


“Scream at the perpetrator, shout at the perpetrator, and keep your distance,” she said. “Bystanders may become aware of the situation and be able to rush to help.


“As soon as possible, the victim or a witness should call 911 and notify the police,” the spokesperson added.


The advice was ridiculed by the leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, Alice Weidel, who called the recommendations “pointless” and suggested that most perpetrators would not understand their victims, citing the disproportionate correlation between knife attacks and foreign suspects.


“It also demonstrates the helplessness of the security authorities, who are being abandoned by their state and federal governments,” Weidel added.


It was reported back in 2021 that German police authorities had recorded over 20,000 knife attacks around the country in the previous year – approximately 50 knife attacks a day. The vast majority of known suspects were foreign nationals or people with a migration background.



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