Photographs show German special forces officers wearing chainmail-like protective gear in preparation for specific instances of dealing with attackers armed with stabbing or cutting weapons.
This protective gear was not introduced in 2016, is not worn by all German police officers, and was not adopted to deal with an increase in stabbing attacks by refugees.
In September 2016, photographs purportedly showing German police officers wearing chainmail-like protective gear were circulated on social media, along with the claim that the retro form or armo had been made part of the official everyday uniform due to an increase in knife attacks by refugees:
Although the above-displayed photographs are real, they do not show the everyday attire of German police officers, nor do they show a uniform change that resulted from an increase in refugee stabbing attacks.
The pictured protective gear seen here is occasionally worn by German special forces, Spezialeinsatzkommandos (SEK), when they are heading into a situation that involves someone armed with a sharp stabbing or cutting weapon. For instance, the man pictured on the right in the image above was tracking down an individual armed with a pruning saw who had evaded police in Minden, Germany, on 19 September 2016.
We traced the second image back to an August 2015 post on a German message board entitled "Fuerzas de Elite (Elite Forces)," where users claimed that it was taken in Frankfurt, Germany, as police responded to an incident of a man threatening to kill himself and his wife with a knife.