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How are politicians protected in Germany? – 2024-05-13 15:09:03

Politicians are repeatedly physically attacked. The main thing that is supposed to prevent this is specially trained bodyguards from the police, so-called bodyguards. How do you work?

The police are responsible for protecting politicians in Germany. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) takes on this task for the Federal President, the Federal Chancellor and a number of federal ministers. The state criminal investigation offices (LKA) are usually responsible for the federal states. Prime Ministers and Interior Ministers are normally guarded there. So-called bodyguards – colloquially known as bodyguards – from the LKA accompany politicians to appointments, examine rooms before arriving and observe the surroundings.

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According to the Berlin LKA, the second largest personal protection service in Germany after the BKA security group is the local personal protection department. The Berlin protectees are, in particular, members of the state government, representatives of foreign governments, people at individual risk and visitors to Berlin at risk.

Ambassadors, representatives of Jewish organizations and other people with certain functions are also guarded. The LKA creates a so-called risk assessment in which it analyzes how great the risk of a physical attack is. This can also change depending on the situation.

Danger is divided into three levels

Experts usually divide the risk into three levels. In the first security level for people at particularly high risk – including US presidents and the Prime Minister of Israel – it says: The person is at considerable risk and an attack can be expected at any time. But politicians who are less at risk, such as the Chancellor, are also guarded around the clock by several bodyguards. Other politicians have fewer bodyguards.

But even the police bodyguards cannot prevent any approach. Especially in election campaigns with a lot of proximity to the citizens, aggressive people sometimes manage to harass or even attack politicians. Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU) was pelted with eggs and paint bags in 1991, and his successor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) was slapped in the face in 2004. In the most serious incidents in 1990, top CDU politician Wolfgang Schäuble and the then SPD candidate for chancellor Oskar Lafontaine were seriously injured in attacks.

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