Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest ended its 16-day run on October 6. Although less beer was consumed than last year, hundreds lost their licenses for riding scooters under the influence. And unfortunately sexual harassment also continued to plague the festival this year.
According to Munich authorities the biggest Oktoberfest challenge in 2019 was the presence of e-scooters. 414 people were caught riding scooters under the influence and 254 of those riders lost their driving licenses on the spot.
Anticipating the probability of drunken riders on scooters, the two-wheelers were banned from entering the actual festival grounds, which could have been a nightmare. But that ban couldn’t prevent hundreds of drunken revelers from returning to those scooters upon exiting the festival and careening madly through the city.
As Munich police spokesman Marcus da Gloria Martins explained to DW, “Many people saw the scooters as lifestyle products or toys, and used them accordingly.”
But drunken scooter rides weren’t the only problems that police were presented with…Unfortunately sexual assaults were also up.
Forty-five sex offenses associated with Oktoberfest were made this year, three more than in 2018.
Utilizing more frequent patrols by plainclothes and uniformed officers, along with increased video surveillance, helped to stop “many situations that could have led to serious sex violations” according to police.
Sometimes called the dark side of Oktoberfest sexual harassment at the festival continues to be a problem that has forced some female beer servers to revert to wearing bicycle shorts under their traditional Dirndl dresses as protection against intoxicated pawing.
In its report on the just concluded festival, Munich police noted a slight reduction in actionable offenses (2019: 914; 2018: 924) despite there being approximately the same number of guests as last year.
And although police were called on to mediate in more cases than last year (1,915 times as compared with 1,786 in 2018), they attributed this to an increased willingness to inform police early on in potential conflict situations, rather than letting things escalate.