If the energy supply fails, the infrastructure also collapses. Berlin would be dark. Within a very short time, the security situation would deteriorate dramatically. The likelihood of looting and rioting would increase. According to information from WELT, the Berlin police are currently preparing a confidential deployment paper for this blackout scenario.
In this concept, which is being developed by the State Police Directorate and the State Criminal Police Office, preparations are made for three stages: increasing prices, shortages and failure of the energy supply.
Forecasts are made for the individual scenarios as to how the crime situation could develop and how the population will behave. The police already sees the first stage (increasing the price) as a given: as a result, the probability of demonstrations and marches also increases.
A shortage in the energy supply is also considered a likely scenario. In this second stage, electricity and gas would be rationed. It would then no longer be possible to heat or cook around the clock. The third stage would cause a blackout. Looting and riots would then be likely.
According to information from this newspaper, internal police inquiries are already being made at the police premises as to whether emergency power generators are available. Even in the event of a difficult supply situation, the police must remain able to act. The authority therefore keeps satellite cell phones and filled fuel tanks.
A spokesman for the Berlin police said: "As jointly responsible for security in the capital, it goes without saying for the Berlin police to think through security-relevant scenarios and to plan and prepare for their management".
The aim is to be able to act quickly and effectively to protect the population in a possible emergency. "The Berlin police are focusing on the probability of certain reactions occurring," the police spokesman continued. We work closely with the Senate Department for Economics and Energy. The paper is still a draft. However, it should be sent to the individual departments by the end of this month.
It is not unusual for the police to have such concepts up their sleeve. There are similar instructions for "life-threatening operational situations", attacks and hostage-taking, but also for a pandemic situation, major power outages and possible restrictions on the energy supply.
Most recently, one of these special deployment concepts was activated during the rampage near Breitscheidplatz. "Phase 1" was announced shortly after the fact. It served to avert danger. All available forces were called in, a command post set up, radio channels kept free and a special organizational structure created (BAO). Shortly thereafter, "Phase 2" was activated. Specialized teams took care of securing evidence and illuminating the area around the perpetrators. What sounds relatively self-evident is often difficult in large situations. Clear chains of command and lean structures can make the difference between life and death in an emergency.
"It's no coincidence that the Federal Office for Civil Protection says everyone should have water, flashlights and food for 14 days," says Dr. Gerard Landsberg. "We are not prepared enough for a blackout," said the general manager of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities.
The police's "blackout" deployment plans are accompanied by warnings from the municipalities, which have recently become increasingly clear. The general manager of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB), Gerd Landsberg, recently told this newspaper: "There is a risk of a blackout". Realistic scenarios are both hostile hacker attacks and “an overload of the power grid. In the event of a blackout, Landsberg does not see Germany sufficiently equipped. He recommends that citizens prepare for such a scenario and have water and food at home for 14 days.
Most recently, a stress test commissioned by the federal government at four transmission system operators further intensified fears of a blackout. The stability of the power grid may no longer be guaranteed under unfavorable circumstances.