FECL 15 (May 1993):


The German police are testing a new investigation method. Random blockades of motorways shall provide help in catching criminals.

A wide-scale operation of this sort took place on the Federal Motorway A 13 (Berlin-Forst) on a sunday night, last month.The motorway was closed for several hours on a length of 20 kilometres and all exits were controlled. All cars and their passengers were checked. But the hoped for crushing blow against crime and organised car smuggling in particular did not take place. According to police, "several automobiles without licence were removed from traffick". Nonetheless, the police authorities of Cottbus intends to carry out more such operations in the months to come.

A week before the operation on the A 13, a similar random blockade had been carried out by the Bavarian police on a section of Federal Motorway A 9 (Munich-Nuremberg). Police directed motorists to a parking place, where everybody was checked. According to police, trucks unfit for traffick were intercepted, hashish was found and some searched for asylum seekers were arrested.

The motorway blockades have drawn some criticism, mainly because they they lead to traffick jams. But the the German Interior Minister Stoiber (CSU) justified the measure: "In particular the abolition of controls at the internal borders of the EC and our increasingly open borders towards the East make intensified compensatory measures a must".


Source: Berliner Zeitung, 31.3.93