Merkel spokesman reiterates commitment to clamp down on juvenile crime


Berlin : A spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her commitment to step up efforts to fight juvenile crime amid the latest wave of youth crimes.

Support TwoCircles

Addressing a press briefing in Berlin on Monday, chief government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm urged a “broad approach” to combat youth violence.

The strategy must include better prevention, integration and educational programs, he added, warning against “hasty decisions.” A focus should also be placed on juvenile crime laws, Wilhelm said.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has repeatedly urged for a tough crackdown on young offenders, including making it easier to deport foreign teenage criminals from Germany.

Coming at the heels of three crucial state elections over the next weeks, the CDU wants the maximum jail term for young people convicted of serious crimes to be raised from 10 to 15 years and a “warning shot” period of detention for those given probation for violent offenses.

Foreigners given a sentence of one year or more would be subjected to deportation under the controversial plans, which also calls for the introduction of US-style boot camps where youthful offenders could be sent for re-education.

Merkel’s junior coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), has warned against hyping the issue of teenage crimes, saying the current crime laws are sufficient.

The SPD has accused the CDU of spurring anti-foreigner sentiments to win votes in the upcoming three state polls.