Alumnus oversees major police operation

  • August 16, 2012
Alumnus oversees major police operation

Police chief and Gates Cambridge Alumnus Dirk-Hinrich Haar oversaw a major police operation in Germany this summer.

A Gates Cambridge Alumnus oversaw the policing of a major political rally in Germany in early August.

Dirk-Hinrich Haar [2005] is Superintendent for Germany’s Federal Police and Deputy Chief of the Hanover Federal Police Department. He oversaw a major rally by far right activists in Germany as chief of staff to the operational commander. The policing operation in the region of Hanover and especially the town of Bad Nenndorf involved many hundred police officers, including riot police.

Haar says: “Political rallies of several hundred or even thousands of political extremists are a recurrent fixture in Germany during the summer season. Far-right groups seek to exert their freedom of speech and are countered by an often greater number of far-left activists and mainstream groups who aim to blockade or otherwise counteract these demonstrations in often creative, yet sometimes illegal or even violent ways.”

He says the day ended with violent clashes largely avoided and the far right demonstration being curbed by protesters to some extent.

Haar adds: “Dedicated communication is key in securing a coherent and effective effort by up to one thousand officers. My PhD in Criminology from the University of Cambridge helps me a lot in understanding fellow police officers’ and other people’s intentions and interpretations during anyunfolding situation. On the other hand, decision-making must be straightforward and quick throughout such operations – you listen to certain gut feelings, since the overall situation is far too complex to analyse rigorously at the time.”

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