A typical assault encountered by the police occurs in town during the small hours. When people are intoxicated, feelings flare up and a person may push someone that cut before them in line. 

There are various types of assault crimes. More than 30,000 assaults are reported to the police each year.  

Assault involves physical violence

According to the law, assault means physical violence during which the victim suffers injuries, pain, or unconsciousness. Small swings and nudges that cause minor injuries or none at all are often found to be petty assaults. 

The assault becomes aggravated if the injuries caused are serious or life-threatening and the act has been committed in a particularly cruel way. The use of a firearm or edged weapon often also makes the assault aggravated. 

A shadow of a person with a raised hand holding a bladed weapon on a stone wall.

One push is enough

Even minor violence can have terrible consequences. When pushed, a person can fall and hit their head, which could result in death.

If you have been assaulted:

  • Seek medical care. Often even minor injuries should be documented by a doctor.
  • Report the crime. Record the time, place, and details of the incident accurately.
  • In an urgent situation, call 112, if possible. Ask a bystander to call if necessary. 
  • Keep the scene of the incident untouched, if possible. Photographs and traces from the crime scene can be used as evidence in the matter. 
  • Try to memorise the perpetrator’s features and the direction in which they left.
  • Ask the witnesses present to stay around or record their information.

If you get into an assault situation as a bystander:

  • Try to calm down the situation if you can do so safely.
  • Call 112 and give first aid to the victim, if necessary.
  • Memorise the perpetrator’s description. If you are at risk of getting assaulted yourself, do not try to keep the perpetrator in place. If possible, take a photograph of the perpetrator with your phone. 
  • Note the direction in which they go.
  • Keep the scene of crime and traces untouched. 
  • You can also prevent assault by taking a belligerent friend home early. Many situations can be solved beforehand with good talking skills. 


Assault crimes are punished with a fine or imprisonment:

  • fine for petty assault
  • fine or imprisonment for a maximum of two years for assault
  • imprisonment for a minimum of one year and a maximum of 10 years for aggravated assault.