Graffiti in Schleswig-Holstein: Not every property damage justifies identification measures
Photo: Marcus Brandt / dpa
The police may only take fingerprints and photos of a suspect if the individual measure is specifically necessary for the criminal proceedings.
The Federal Constitutional Court announced on Friday that the fundamental right of the person concerned to informational self-determination must always be weighed up.
The Karlsruhe judges upheld the complaint of a man in whose case the Zwickau police had gone too far.
(Az. 2 BvR 54/22)
The man was observed in June 2021 spraying two graffiti on a gas distribution building.
There was the writing "Antifa Boxen" and an apparently anti-Semitic insult, which the man painted over extensively in silver paint.
Biometric data collected for no reason
A witness spoke to him, filmed and photographed him.
After the building's owner filed a criminal complaint, police recognized the man in the witness's photos.
An investigation into property damage was initiated.
At the beginning of July, the police also ordered the taking of various pictures, a ten finger print and a palm print.
The district and district courts had confirmed this order.
The sprayer took action against this identification service treatment.
The Federal Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that the measure was illegal and violated the man's fundamental right to informational self-determination.
Fingerprints and handprints are useless because, according to the investigation file, no prints were found at the crime scene.
The recordings are also not necessary for reliable identification.
On the one hand, the witness stated that he would recognize the man.
On the other hand, the judge can compare his appearance with the photos of the witness.
The police would have recognized him then.