Right-hand activities at the police? This suspicion outraged many employees. A wide-ranging study should get to the bottom of the problems. But nothing will come of it in the southwest.

The police in Baden-Württemberg backed out and was the only large federal state to boycott a nationwide study on the experiences and attitudes of police officers.

After a veto by the main staff council, an online questionnaire from the German Police University will not be distributed to the departments, although Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) had campaigned for participation. Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann does not want to accept that. “We want this study to be done,” said the Green politician in Stuttgart. In almost all other federal states, the survey initiated by the federal government has already been completed – only in Hamburg has the main staff council also decided against it.

Study to investigate possible racism in the police force

The study goes back to the former Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), who responded to demands to investigate possible racism and legalism in the police force. However, the study was then laid out much more broadly. All interior ministers of the federal states support the research project on “Motivation, attitude and violence in everyday life” of police officers.

Kretschmann now wants to clarify whether the main staff council even has the option of blocking the participation of police employees in the study. “I can not imagine that.” The question is whether the leaders of the green-black coalition now want to have the study carried out against the will of the staff representatives. According to reports, state police chief Stefanie Hinz absolutely wanted to involve them in order to increase acceptance among employees. However, the main staff council does not have a real right of co-determination. Participation in the survey would have been voluntary for all civil servants.

Wendt has doubts about the independence of the study

Rainer Wendt, head of the German police union, thinks the no is completely understandable. Staff councils are not there to execute the will of politicians, Wendt told the dpa. In addition, there are serious doubts about the independence of the study by the University of Police in Münster. “The police are fed up with all these racism studies, which have no other purpose than to confirm the view that many people already have that the police are a racist gang of thugs.”

Wendt said the fact that all states except Baden-Württemberg and Hamburg took part in the study says nothing about acceptance by the police. Because in many countries the main staff council was not asked for its approval. “But you should have asked everywhere,” said Wendt. The low response rate to the questionnaires shows that acceptance is very low. According to his information, a good 20 percent took part nationwide, but in Bavaria, for example, the rate was only two to three percent.

At the university in Münster, it was said that the rejection by the main staff council after six months was a surprise. “We regret that we were not asked,” said co-author Jochen Wittenberg of the dpa. The survey has been completed in almost all countries, in North Rhine-Westphalia and with the federal police it should end in July. Berlin will deliver a little later. Wittenberg assumes that the results will be presented at the next conference of interior ministers at the end of November.