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Friday 14, July

Berlin Senate to impose mandatory ID in swimming pools

Colombiabad has been closed all week following waves of violence. Now Berlin is planning mandatory ID checks for swimmers.

Photo: IMAGO / Uwe Steinert

Friday 14, July

Waves of violence: Berlin Senate to impose mandatory ID for swimming pools

Large scale fights at the city’s outdoor pools are nothing new, but the problem reached a new level this week with the swimming pool at Colombiabad remaining closed until further notice after many employees called in sick – apparently in protest at the level of violence they were facing at work. Now, it seems, the city is planning to step in.

On Thursday, at a visit to the outdoor pool at Prinzenbad in Kreuzberg, Berlin mayor Kai Wegner (CDU) and Senator for the Interior Iris Spranger (SPD) announced plans to introduce mandatory ID checks for all guests. In the future, visitors will need to book personalised tickets and to identify themselves as they enter. Video surveillance will also be introduced and extra security personnel will be brought in at Colombiabad and Prinzenbad pools with immediate effect.

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Employees at Colombiabad are clearly fed up. Recently, they wrote to Berliner Bäder, the company responsible for managing the pools, to complain about the “unacceptable extent” of the situation – but it should also be noted that the CDU’s tough on crime stance has been a vote winner. After all, it was the racially-charged panic over the New Year’s Eve riots which launched their successful campaign in this year’s repeat election.