Officials in the German city of Hamburg sent home as many as 300 police officers from Berlin for a series of allegations of unseemly behaviour which include public sex acts, property damage and the mishandling of service-issued firearms.
The police officers were sent to the north German city ahead of the upcoming G20 summit, but were recalled Tuesday, according to German reports, because they became bored.
The officers were housed in a former refugee centre in the nearby town of Bad Segeberg and, according to witnesses, held a weekend party in which officers allegedly urinated in public and one, dressed in a bathrobe, inappropriately brandished his firearm.
A statement by the Berlin Police confirmed its officers were sent home prematurely due to “supposed misbehavious”. The department says it has “asked for statements and will then decide on the consequences”.
German newspaper Bild acquired and published photos of the alleged party, which appears to show a number of officers gathered within the former refugee container housing complex smoking from shisha water pipes.
Two police vehicles are also clearly seen in the image.
Hamburg police also confirmed the three units of officers were discharged and will not participate in securing the city.
But the Berlin police department’s social media team came to the defence of its officers on social media saying they are only “human”.
In the post the officers admit they held a party and stressed it took place in an enclosed area of their housing accommodation. It said the officers were not yet on duty and were celebrating two birthdays.
“In the course of this party people danced, peed and apparently ‘banged’ as our press speaker put it so nicely,” read the post.
It went on: “Inside our uniforms are real people. For our riot police its mostly young people who have a lot of responsibility when they are on a mission. These mostly young colleagues are highly professional. (…) They do great work every day in Berlin, keeping people safe, day and night. Considering they work a lot, that is not always easy. Please come around and make yourself an opinion on how we work.”
An estimated 20,000 police officers from throughout Germany have been called in to Hamburg for the G20 summit.
The two-day summit starts July 7.