The Cologne public prosecutor’s office is examining the start of investigations against representatives of the city of Cologne because of their dealings with the homeless. The question is whether the city’s possibly inadequate supply leads to health risks for the homeless.
City officials could answer for assault or the criminal offense of “abandoning in a helpless position”. The background is a request from Rainer Kippes from the Socialist Self-Help Mülheim (SSM), who campaigns for the homeless and criticizes the city’s inadequate housing policy. Last year he had stood before the court himself for occupying empty houses with homeless women. The case was dropped because the homeowner – a federal company – withdrew the complaint.
Criticism of urban housing and social policy
During the trial, the prosecution’s representative, Chief Public Prosecutor Ulf Willuhn, expressed understanding for the criticism of Cologne’s social and housing policy. Now, at the request of the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”, he confirmed that he would deal with Kippe’s allegations again in a so-called test process. Contrary to the statement of the Mülheim activist and militant member of the Greens, however, there are no criminal charges against city officials for bodily harm.
The assessment of an exciting, but also quite complicated question is connected with the examination of a preliminary investigation. In March of last year, the Higher Administrative Court in Münster forced the city of Cologne to organize other accommodation for a homeless family of five. Until then, the three adults and two children lived in a 30 square meter hotel room. With its ruling, the Higher Administrative Court set new standards: at least nine square meters are required per person. In addition, it must be ensured that a homeless person can stay in closed rooms for 24 hours and that he has a retreat in his accommodation.
The city of Cologne, which in the past few days presented its winter offers for the increasing number of homeless people in detail, does not meet these requirements of the court. Accommodation over 24 hours is not guaranteed for everyone, and multi-bed accommodation usually does not meet the minimum standards required by the Higher Administrative Court.
But it is far from clear whether the city or its employees are threatened with criminal consequences. Not everyone who violates administrative regulations is liable to prosecution. An offense must be proven in each individual case. That would mean here: A representative of the city should not only be accused of violating an obligation to act. It should also be possible to understand that this injury is directly related to medically verifiable impairments of those affected.
*The article has been translated based on the content of Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by www.ksta.de. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!