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Local News Summary of April, 16th

  • Police catch intruder at a bank in Liestal
  • Willful provocation? Qorans handed out at SBB train station on Easter weekend
  • Government approves of Basel bollards despite "accident risk"

Police catch intruder at a bank in Liestal

Baselland police have caught and arrested an intruder who had managed to gain entry to a bank in Liestal on Friday night.

The central police station of Baselland received a call at 11.16pm regarding a break-in at a bank. A number of police patrols rushed to the scene and managed to catch and arrest an intruder with the aid of a police dog.

The man, a 20-year-old Moroccan, had managed to get into the office area of the bank undetected. It emerged that another canton had already issued the man with a ban on travelling in Switzerland.

The public prosecution of Basel-Landschaft has opened criminal proceedings against the man and called for him to be remanded in custody while awaiting trial at the prosecutor’s office.

 

Willful provocation? Qorans handed out at SBB train station on Easter weekend

Muslim activists were seen handing out free Qorans at the main entrance to the SBB train station on Easter Saturday.

The books were being offered to anyone passing; with even small children included in this rather aggressive distribution. Concerned members of the public contacted the police, who arrived a short time later and registered the personal details of the white-clad, brashly acting group before leaving.

The officers could not provide any information about potential further action.

Many passers-by complained about the distribution of the Qoran during the weekend of one of the most valued Christian holidays. The activists took photographs of the people who complained, and at the same time objected to being photographed.

 

Government approves of Basel bollards despite "accident risk"

Since the start of 2016, metal bollards have blocked all vehicle access to upper Spalenberg. On workdays, outwith the official delivery times of between 5am and 11am, cars can only gain acccess by special admission. The bollards will not be lowered unless there is regulatory approval. The canton released a statement that the first year of the experiment has been so successful that other areas are now being considered, especially Fischmarkt and upper Freie Strasse.

 

Accident because of bollards

However, there was a serious accident due to the bollards at Spalenberg last week. When a driver with approval approached the street, the bollards lowered into the ground. The car passed through, followed by an elderly man on a bicycle. However, the bollards re-emerged as expected, which caused an accident. The man had not seen the rising bollards and the front wheel of his bike consequently hit one. He fell, hit his head on the ground, and was injured. It could have been worse, but thankfully a shop owner in upper Spalenberg saw the accident and immediately took the injured man to the hospital.

 

Potential for more accidents?

“It certainly isn’t the first time that such a thing has happened,” the shop owner told barfi.ch. “I think that the bollards take some getting used to, particularly for elderly people.”

As soon as the bollards start to rise, red lights attached to them begin to flash and a whistling sound is emitted. However, this obviously happens too late. The shop owner has two shops at Spalenberg and therefore knows more about the bollards than he would like to.

One of his shops sells baby clothing and accessories at lower Spalenberg. His shop at upper Spalenberg sells prams, children’s furniture, and larger objects. The bollards are not good for his business, he said.

“We are not like coop with our own logistics company working from 5am to 11am," he said. "Therefore, it was very problematic for us to bring new ware to our shops with the driving ban and the bollards.”

Delivery problems

The shop owner shares his problems with other smaller businesses at Spalenberg. Most goods are brought into Spalenberg by the owners themselves and they often cannot do this during delivery hours. Often, they have to wait until after 7pm. “To be successful at Spalenberg means successful goods turnover. This is in conflict with the current delivery times,” the shop owner said.

The bollards make both sales and access for customers more complicated, he said.

The government sees the bollards as an “increase in residence quality”, but it is a reason for shop owners to change their location - away from traffic-free Spalenberg to the still traffic-accessible Steinengraben. The shop owner says he suffers from a lack of customers due to limited accessibility. “You feel it in your missing revenue,” he said.

He hopes that the government is not planning further bollards in the other possible areas. For him, as for many other shop owners in the inner city, this is a crucal factor relating to the survival of their businesses.