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Online porn scams: No police service!

An 18-year-old applicant from the Düren district had applied for recruitment to the senior police civil service as of September 1, 2019. The police refused on the grounds that there were doubts about his suitability for police service due to criminal proceedings against him for fraud, although these were ultimately dropped. The emergency appeal against this was unsuccessful.

In justification, the order of the 1st Chamber presided over by Judge Markus Lehmler, dated June 21, 2019, states:

The decision of the police was not objectionable. It had rightly pointed out that a police officer is obliged to behave in a manner that is commensurate with the respect and trust that the profession requires, and that this includes, in particular, compliance with legal norms. Professionally, the officer will repeatedly come into contact with criminal facts and persons. Especially in situations where a police officer could obtain money illegally, he said, he must be expected to behave lawfully. According to these criteria, there were doubts about the applicant’s character.

Over a period of six months, at the age of 14 and 15, he had made his account available to a group that operated fraudulent businesses, including with youth pornography, for the redemption of obtained Paysafe cards, and had received remuneration for each of these activities. The fact that he himself had never possessed pornographic material for minors was not disputed by the police, but did not invalidate the accusation of aiding and abetting fraud. The applicant could not plead that, as a 14-year-old, he had not been aware of the consequences of his conduct. Anyone who is allowed to open a betting account for soccer bets with the knowledge of his parents – according to the applicant’s submission – must also be aware of the consequences that the misuse for the redemption of Paysafe cards from criminal transactions could have for him. The fact that the applicant, according to his statements, had seriously, intensively and self-reflectively processed his misconduct at the time did not lead to a different decision in view of the broad scope of assessment of the police. The processing of the criminal conduct may have helped the applicant in his own maturation process, but does not make the assessment of the lack of character suitability appear arbitrary.

The applicant can appeal against the decision, which will be decided by the Higher Administrative Court in Münster.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.

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