German prosecutors discovered a number of their police exchanged Nazi symbols and child pornography through chats, alarming the Recklinghausen officials.
Germany’s Security Structure Hooked on Nazi Symbols
What the Recklinghausen officials found was the second in the past months. German prosecutors discovered illegal content in the chat messages of five police officers from three different police districts. This incident was revealed after searching in the North Rhine-Westphalian region.
According to chief public prosecutor, Annette Milk, the involved five officials were alleged to have exchanged Nazi symbols in chats. Moreover, they interchange child pornography during their training. Three of the accused officers belong to the Recklinghausen police headquarters. The other two belong to the Kleve and Borken police authorities, respectively.
Milk said they encountered these malicious chats amid investigations into a sixth suspect. The suspected officer now faces charges of exchanging right-wing extremist symbols. He’s also charged with keeping and circulating child pornography.
“The allegations shocked me. In criminal law, the presumption of innocence also applies here. Nevertheless, the allegations are so serious that after examining each individual case, I immediately banned the three officers from conducting official business,” said Friederike Zurhausen, Recklinghausen police chief.
Herbert Reul, Interior Minister of the German state of Nord Rhine-Westphalia, regarded the purported policemen to be ill-suited for uniformed officers. He said that anyone who distributes content implements substantial doubts regarding his character expediency.
German law clearly forbids publicly confuting the Holocaust and spreading Nazi propaganda – online and in public conventions. This involves conveying swastikas, wearing SS uniforms, or supporting Hitler through statements. The law likewise, stipulates regulations for how social media firms should subdue hate speech and impart threats.
Child Pornography in Germany Leads to Child Sexual Abuse
Last year, around 15,500 cases of child sexual abuse were documented in the country. Unfortunately, the number of unreported cases is much higher. The World Health Organisation (WHO) supposes that up to 1 million children and teenagers in Germany already experienced sexual violence by adults.
It’s not certain how frequently child sexual abuse occurs in Germany because of a lack of data. Police crime data only reveals information about cases reported to the police and prosecuted. There are 42,075 cases of transmitting, obtaining, keeping, and creating child pornography.
When it comes to gender distribution, girls comprise around two-thirds who have suffered child sexual abuse. Boys, on the other hand, account for about one-third.
Meanwhile, Interpol rounded off a two-year global operation called “Narsil,” catching criminals operating website networks with child sexual abuse material that will generate advertising profits. Their Bulgarian operation detained a 34-year-old Bulgarian male who managed an online forum. He organised access to thousands of files illustrating severe child sexual abuse.
“Operation Narsil sends a strong message to criminals making money from such websites that Interpol and police forces in 195 member countries know where they are, what they are doing and how to find them,” said Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock.
The Interpol Secretary added that each time an individual clicks on the images, they are successfully entering a crime scene. Operation Narsil, on the other hand, started in December 2021 and ended in July 2023.
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