Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) presents the police crime statistics for 2023. This offers little cause for celebration: According to a media report, the number of registered crimes nationwide rose by 5.5 percent to almost six million last year.

A total of 5.94 million crimes were reported to the police, the “Welt am Sonntag” quoted crime statistics in advance. The last time there were this many cases was in 2016. The data on developments in the past year previously published by some federal states did not give much hope for good. Crime in North Rhine-Westphalia grew by 3.4 percent in 2023.

Last year, 1.4 million crimes were committed in the most populous federal state. Compared to many other federal states, the increase in crimes here was still moderate, said NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) when presenting the figures.

Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) cited immigration as the main reason for the increased number of crimes in the Free State. According to his information, the crime rate in Bavaria rose to 4,361 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2023. This is an increase of 2.4 percent compared to 2022.

Nationwide increase

This is a “nationwide trend for which foreigners and immigrants are particularly responsible,” stated Herrmann. The SPD parliamentary group in the Bavarian state parliament then sharply criticized Herrmann for “conflating CSU migration policy and the fight against crime.”

Crime increased again nationwide in 2022 after years of decline – by 11.5 percent to around 5.63 million crimes. At that time, however, part of the increase was due to the abolition of the Corona measures. Due to the government restrictions, there were fewer opportunities for crime in 2020 and 2021 – for example because shops were closed and fewer people met.

In addition to the Federal Minister of the Interior, the President of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), Holger Münch, and the Chairman of the Conference of Interior Ministers, Michael Stübgen (CDU), are also expected on the podium in Berlin.

From the perspective of the police union (GdP), the increasing number of violent and property crimes must have consequences. “The tense security situation and the development of crime show that we must immediately invest in more personnel, more powers and faster digital processes,” said the GdP federal chairman, Jochen Kopelke, to the German Press Agency.

“We need more money for prevention, faster prosecution and modern, effective security authorities,” he added, referring in this context to the increased proportion of young suspects. In addition to the federal government and the Bundestag, the finance and interior ministers of the states are also responsible here.

“The increase in violent crime with more young suspects, an increased proportion of non-German suspects and significantly more residential burglaries makes it clear that the fight for prosperity has begun and the law of the strongest is becoming more popular,” said Kopelke.

Union wants more prevention

In order to curb violence caused by children and young people, more money is needed for effective prevention. In addition to personal approaches, anti-violence campaigns need to be strengthened. Carrying knives must also be addressed. “Nobody needs a knife for defense on our streets,” emphasized the GdP chairman.

The deputy chairwoman of the Union parliamentary group, Andrea Lindholz, said with regard to the increased proportion of underage suspects: “The traffic light can no longer stand idly by and watch this development. It must now immediately develop an action plan with targeted preventive and repressive measures.” This included further curbing irregular immigration and a new edition of the so-called Pact for the Rule of Law so that the judiciary nationwide could better cope with rising crime.

FDP parliamentary group vice-president: Countries must deport serious offenders

In view of the high number of foreign perpetrators, “the entire range of instruments of current residence law must be exploited,” said FDP parliamentary group vice-president Konstantin Kuhle. Just a few months ago, the traffic light coalition tightened the rules for deporting serious offenders without a German passport. Anyone who becomes conspicuous several times within a year, for example through convictions for assault or theft, will be able to be deported more easily in the future. These rules would have to be applied across the board by the states.

Domestic politicians from the Green Party had already warned against hasty conclusions on Monday. The Parliamentary Managing Director of the Green Party parliamentary group, Irene Mihalic, pointed out that the police crime statistics only document how many cases the police have processed. This does not take into account whether the suspects were also charged or convicted. Which cases become known to the police also depend on the population’s reporting behavior and the police’s level of control.