Politically motivated crime at all-time high in Germany

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Public safety in Germany, as far as politically motivated crime is concerned, is at an all-time low. Extreme violence has increased significantly, but there are also unconstitutional trends.

In the light of the last 20 years, the level of politically motivated crime in Germany today is unprecedented, according to a briefing by the Federal Minister for the Interior issued on Tuesday.

In the year of the epidemic, the statistics report more than 44,000 crimes that can be linked to perpetrators who identify with a political ideology. The perpetrators include Islamist, far-left and far right groups as well as other extremist groups and individuals.

This figure is a significant increase compared to 2019, which also showed an increase in violence, but according to Tagesspiegel, it is definitely a peak in the period since 2001. It should be noted that 2001 was the starting point because that was the year when police introduced the concept of “politically motivated crime” (Politisch motivierte Kriminalität, PMK).

Crime numbers for 2020 are more than double those measured in 2002, 2003, and 2004, and the number of violent crimes increased by 18 percent in 2020 from 2019. Most PMKs (23,604 cases) were committed by neo-Nazis, but for the first time this year, left-wing crime also crossed the 10,000 psychological limit.

Police have identified a total of nearly 11,000 left-wing offenses, an increase of 11 percent compared to 2019 (and a 45 percent increase in the number of violent crimes).

The number of anti-Semitic crimes has also increased

Across Germany, 2,351 anti-Semitic crimes have been reported, a 15 percent increase over 2019 and also rising over the past 20 years. At the same time, the number of attacks on synagogues has decreased: there were 34 such attacks in 2019, up from 24 in 2020. However, the number of xenophobic crimes increased significantly, by 72 percent to a total of 5,000 cases.

The number of anti-German hate crimes also increased by 68 percent.

The report deals specifically with riots organized against restrictions caused by the coronavirus epidemic. There were more than 3,500 such cases, of which 478 were violent.

The number of crimes against the state and against state leaders has also increased. Last year, 9,443 such cases were reported, more than double the 2019 data. In this regard, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that “under no circumstances will we allow our public service officials to be intimidated or attacked by those who act against the Constitution.”

The politician also emphasizes this because the number of attacks on police officers has also increased significantly, by 73 percent in the recent period.

Title image: German riot police are seen next to burning garbage containers during clashes between police and left-wing demonstrators on May Day in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

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