The police have launched their first large-scale control and search operation in the city of Freiburg, where a student was reportedly drugged and raped by several men, the German outlet Focus reports.
Law enforcement has boosted its presence in the city, deploying hundreds of police officers, including officials from the Federal Police and the State Criminal Police Office. They checked people and vehicles in the early hours of November 24th and made several arrests, the website reports, citing a police spokesperson.
City police chief Bernhard Rotzinger has announced that such raids would be held regularly in the future. They are to prevent and investigate crimes and make people feel more secure in the city.
Following the assault, which triggered unrest throughout the community, the state authorities of Baden-Wuerttemberg, where Freiburg is located, adopted a security package foreseeing better police control and tighter security.
At the same time, the country’s authorities face the challenge of looking for a better way to deal with young and criminal refugees, identifying and tracking them better as well as deporting them earlier, if they are convicted.
This problem has been on the agenda of the recent conference of the state prime ministers, who are currently working on a means of thwarting repeat offenders who come to Germany as asylum seekers. The draft plan is currently being revised; the heads of regional governments are to discuss the topic again in December.
The alleged gang rape and subsequent protests in the city have pressured the authorities to act and revise the existing policy. The main suspect, a 22-year-old asylum seeker from Syria, had committed 28 crimes during his four years in Germany but was only arrested, along with 6 other Syrians and one German citizen, after the assault.
In mid-October, the German media reported that a teenage student was offered a drink by a man in a nightclub, with whom she later left. The drink was allegedly drugged, so she couldn’t defend herself. She was then assaulted by several perpetrators, who took turns raping her. DNA evidence linked the victim to at least one of the suspects.
The incident is the latest in a series of violent acts to hit the southwestern university town since 2016. A middle-aged man was beaten to death by a group of teenagers, a female jogger was raped and killed by a truck driver and a paedophilia ring was nabbed in the nearby town of Staufen.