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Germany's vice chancellor calls for thousands of new police posts

Germany's vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said he wants to expand the nation's federal police force by thousands. The additional posts are meant to combat Germany's rising burglary rate.

More federal police officers are needed in order to battle increasing burglaries and give people in Germany increased peace of mind, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel told German newspapers on Monday.

Although Germany's grand coalition government between German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and Gabriel's Social Democrats (SPD) already agreed on 3,000 new federal police posts, those numbers will not be sufficient, urged Gabriel.

"We need an additional 3,000 positions" beyond those already agreed upon and the police should be better paid, the vice chancellor told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group. He added that Germany's 16 states should also increase their police force at the same rate.

Germany's 10 percent increase in burglary rates have contributed to rising feelings of insecurity amongst people living in Germany, said Gabriel.

The problem also has a social component, the SPD party head told the media group. A stronger police force should help "ordinary people" feel safe once again.

German vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel speaks at a conference

Gabriel: "We urgently need to put more police on the streets"

"Only the rich can afford a weak state and to privately provide for their security if necessary. Ordinary people have to rely on a strong state governed by the rule of law."

"We urgently need to put more police on the streets," said Gabriel, adding that more police patrols will help put German residents at ease.

The number of burglaries in Germany

recently hit a 15-year high,

according to police data, with many of the break-ins tied to organized crime rings which originate from eastern Europe.

rs/kl (AFP, dpa)

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SOS from a German policewoman

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