With a raid in the middle of the party life of several North Rhine-Westphalian cities on Saturday evening, the police searched for connections between criminal family clans and the bouncer scene. A spokesman for the North Rhine-Westphalian Interior Ministry said 650 police officers were deployed in actions in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg and Gelsenkirchen. It’s about getting information about a still relatively unknown field of clan crime. North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) was also on site during the raid.

Recently, it became clear, especially during investigations in the Ruhr area, that there are repeated connections between well-known clan families and companies in the security and surveillance industry. There is often a network of subcontractors, letterbox companies and changing shareholders. Investigators suspect that such constructions in the bouncer scene serve criminal clans to circumvent regulations and evade taxes. Ultimately, it’s about earning potential “on a larger scale,” said the spokesman.

The information emerged from the work of the Ruhr Security Conference (Siko). State police, Ruhr area municipalities, customs authorities and federal police have been working together there for four years to combat clan crime in the Ruhr area.

So far, however, investigators have lacked precise information about exactly where clan-related security companies are active. The raid was primarily about shedding light on these structures.

The authorities describe crimes that develop from ethnically isolated subcultures as clan crime. The perpetrators in North Rhine-Westphalia mostly come from large families of Turkish-Arab origin, but according to the police, Syrian clans have recently been playing an increasingly important role. According to the State Criminal Police Office, every fifth case involving organized crime involves connections to family clans. Essen is considered a stronghold.

However, the term clan crime is controversial because, according to critics, it stigmatizes and discriminates against people with a migrant background based solely on their family affiliation and origin.