Situation report on organized crime: brutality is increasing

Nancy Faser

Group crime is "a growing phenomenon with a significant impact on our society," said Faeser.

(Photo: IMAGO/Metodi Popov)

Berlin In order to prevent escalating violence and gang wars like in Sweden or the Netherlands, the Federal Minister of the Interior wants Nancy Faser (SPD) to increase the pressure on criminal clans and other organized crime groups.

It is "a growing phenomenon with a significant impact on our society," said Faeser on Wednesday in Berlin at the presentation of the nationwide picture of organized crime (OK).

  • More procedures: As the situation report compiled by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) shows, the number of investigations into criminal gangs has increased Germany In 2021 compared to the previous year, the number of procedures increased by around 17 percent to 696. The main reason for this development is information derived from criminals’ secret communications decrypted in 2020, primarily via the provider Encrochat. In 2020, the police in the Netherlands and France managed to skim more than 20 million secret messages. As a result, numerous drug dealers were also convicted in Germany.
  • More guns: Another development that worries the police is the increasing arming of members of OC groups. While the proportion of armed suspects was still around 6.4 percent in 2020, a weapon was seized from 7.5 percent of suspects last year. Numerous weapons were also confiscated during searches of suspected members of the now banned rocker-like group “United Tribuns” in the past week.
  • Greater Brutality: According to the police, members of OC groups are increasingly using drastic methods to intimidate “debtors” and assert themselves against rival criminal gangs. The situation report states: "In one process, a person cut up the face of a "business partner" with a carpet knife in front of the camera and showed the video to intimidate another person involved in the crime."
  • More financial damage: The Federal Criminal Police Office put the financial damage caused by OC groups last year at 2.2 billion euros. For comparison: In the previous year, the total was around 837 million euros. One reason is the high number of fraud offenses. According to the BKA, the fact that these have increased sharply shows how quickly some criminal gangs react to new opportunities to commit crimes. The number of procedures in which references to the corona pandemic were identified tripled in 2021 compared to the year before. “This increase is largely due to the unlawful application for and use of emergency corona aid from the federal government,” it says.
  • Mafia Groups: The number of suspects assigned to various Italian groups has more than doubled. Last year, the police identified 319 suspects here.
  • clan crime: More than 70 percent of the 34 investigations in this area were concentrated in the federal states of Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen and Lower Saxony. There, “criminal structures of clan crime had become particularly entrenched,” according to the situation report, which depicts the situation in 2021. The structures "must not solidify any further," said Faeser. Important elements of the fight are a high police presence at certain focal points, "video surveillance at appropriate locations can also be a useful tool". The message must be sent here: "The rule of law cannot be played around on its face."

The Greens chairman in the Interior Committee of the Bundestag, Marcel Emmerich, said that it was not the origin, "but the social situation such as educational opportunities and access to the labor and housing market that drive young people in particular to commit crime".

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According to the BKA, criminal clan members "use connections to the original countries of origin to commit crimes, but also as a potential retreat in the event of criminal prosecution".

More: Despite criticism from the FDP and the Greens: SPD Minister Faeser insists on new powers for security authorities

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