The Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry (VPI) has condemned the outbreaks of violence on New Year's Eve and defended the industry against criticism. Above all, the use of fireworks against the fire brigade and police was shocking, said the association of firecrackers and fireworks manufacturers. Board member Richard Eickel said: "It's not firecrackers that are the problem, it's firecrackers who abuse them."
The association therefore rejects a ban on legal fireworks. Illegal fireworks, on the other hand, are "no fun, but a threat to life and limb," emphasized VPI CEO Thomas Schreiber. In the last few months alone, hundreds of tons of illegal products have been seized by the police - "that should give food for thought". The association also supports the equipment with dash and body cams for filming violent criminals requested by representatives of the emergency services.
The federal chairman of the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund, Knut Fleckenstein, said in a statement: "The events on New Year's Eve are the sad climax of a brutalization and disrespect towards emergency services that has been observed for years." You should have consequences - the perpetrators should be identified and punished, demanded the head of the rescue service.
The central association of insurers for firefighters and rescue workers sees politicians as primarily responsible for ensuring that violent excesses such as those on New Year's Eve last year are not repeated. "The riots in Berlin were extreme. However, the capital is no exception," said the chief executive of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), Stefan Hussy. Firefighters and relief organizations have been complaining for years about increasing verbal and physical violence during operations.
On New Year's Eve, police and rescue workers in several cities were hindered in their work and fired at with firecrackers and rockets. The police and fire brigade in Berlin experienced a particularly large number of brutal attacks.