According to the Criminal Police, offences in the “left-wing” phenomenon area fell by almost a third
For 22 years, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has been documenting tables on politically motivated crime (PMK). Last year, the number of offences in Germany had risen to a total of 58,916, reaching an all-time high since the statistics began in 2001. This was stated by BKA President Holger Münch at the presentation of the current situation report. The number of violent offences for which the BKA suspects a political motivation has also increased by four per cent to 4,043. These include bodily harm, arson and explosives offences, breach of the peace and resistance offences.
With 23,493, the most offences were recorded in the “right-wing” sector, an increase of seven per cent compared to the previous year. An increase of twelve per cent was recorded in the area of “right-wing” violent offences. In addition, with 675 persons, most of all recorded victims of violence were injured by right-wing motivated perpetrators (41 per cent). Finally, three out of four of these hate crime offences can also be attributed to the “right-wing” sector. “Right-wing extremism continues to pose a particularly high danger,” summed up Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (Social Democratic Party of Germany, SPD) during the joint presentation of the case figures.
The PMK figures come from the so-called Criminal Police Reporting Service and are transmitted to the BKA from the 16 federal states. The offences are classified by the Laender into different thematic fields and – as far as recognisable for the authorities – their ideological background is mapped. The state protection departments of the criminal investigation offices are responsible for these classifications.
The BKA attributes the conspicuous overall increase in the PMK statistics to offences “which cannot be assigned to the classic areas of politically right-wing or politically left-wing motivated crime”. According to the statistics, this “other classification” accounts for about 41 per cent of the counted cases. This category, which was only introduced in 2021, includes crimes committed at demonstrations by Corona deniers and so-called “Reich citizens”. Although the BKA lists “Reich citizens/self-governors” as a separate category in the situation report, considerably more crimes were committed there as well. The main focus was on coercion and threats as well as insults. However, most of the cases counted in this context (1,603 out of a total of 1,865) were not clearly classifiable as “right-wing”. This also applies to four out of nine recorded homicides, among whose victims are two police officers.
Legal scholar and criminologist Tobias Singelnstein considers the category “other classification” to be “very problematic” because of its sheer number of cases. The many entries make an evaluation of these cases “practically impossible”, Singelnstein told “nd”.
Also new in the statistics are offences in the context of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, which are added to the phenomenon area of “foreign ideology” and described as “resonance offences”. The BKA also registers a strong overall increase in “foreign ideology” to 3,886 cases, of which 372 are violent offences.
In the phenomenon area “left-wing”, the number of cases has dropped by almost a third to 6976. The same applies to violent crimes with 842 offences. In the left-wing scene, only “a few effective campaigns and relevant large-scale events” were observed, the BKA cites as the reason for the conspicuous decline. After the super election year of 2021, damage to election posters “no longer played a significant role”.
However, the left-motivated crimes also include acts of resistance at climate protests, which, according to the BKA, have “developed into a clear focus”. Here, the authority counted 1,585 offences last year, which roughly corresponds to a doubling compared to 2021. “A large part of this is of course due to the crimes committed during the street blockades and other Last Generation actions,” said Interior Minister Faeser when presenting the PMK figures. More than 80 per cent of these cases were classified as “left-wing”. Several times, Faeser emphasised her rejection of so-called “climate gluers” and claimed that through their methods, the “support in our society that is urgently needed in the fight against the climate crisis is put at risk by criminals”.
At the beginning of 2020, the BKA introduced the additional topic area “gender/sexual identity” and one year later differentiated it into the three areas “gender diversity”, “hostile to women” and “hostile to men”. The category “hostile to men” in particular has been criticised. Its content is highly unclear and questionable, says the criminologist Singelnstein. Four out of 16 federal states had registered a total of 14 anti-male crimes, as reported recently by the magazine “Der Spiegel”. This clearly shows how arbitrarily the state protection departments classify PMK: For example, the Berlin police counts as “anti-male” a case in which unknown perpetrators left writings for the abolition of patriarchy and for feminism at an S-Bahn station.
Published in German in „nd“.