Germany - Politically motivated crime 2020

Politically motivated crimes peaked in the past year. That was “alarming because it has solidified a trend of the past few years,” Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) said in Berlin on Tuesday.

As the statistics of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (BKA) for 2020 show, the number has increased by 8.54 percent compared to the previous year to 44,692 criminal offenses. More than half of these politically motivated acts thus involved rights. With 23,604 right-wing crimes, a maximum has been reached since the recording began in 2001.

“The sad record of right-wing crimes comes as no surprise,” said Timo Reinfrank, director of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, which supports initiatives against right-wing extremism. For years, right-wing extremists have fueled a rhetoric of hatred in parliaments and on the streets, “which is becoming increasingly violent”. Minority members have long felt this growing aggression.

For politically motivated acts of violence, the number of cases of 3,365 crimes last year was almost 19 percent above the value of the previous year, according to the BKA, and thus around the level of 2018.

Judith Porath, head of the Association of Independent Victims’ Advice Centers, said the figures reported by state police authorities on right-wing, racist and antisemitic violence were incomplete. As an example, she cited a life-threatening knife attack on a young Algerian in Schweinfurt, who was wrongly not considered a racist attack. Racists and right-wing violent criminals increasingly attacked women, children and young people. “There have been such cases in the playground that children are beaten by adults under racist abuse,” said Porath.

For left-wing violence, police recorded an increase of about 45 percent to 1,526 crimes last year. The radical left shows a trend “towards violent acts of conspiratorial small groups,” says Seehofer.

Statistics have it that there were 1,092 crimes of violence in court across the country. The increase here was just under eleven percent. The police could not attribute 591 politically motivated acts of violence to any of the common phenomena. That was significantly more than last year and probably has something to do with the corona pandemic, which gives rise to other, partly antisemitic conspiracy stories.

Last year, federal states reported a total of 3,559 politically motivated crimes related to the pandemic, including bodily harm, Assembly Act violations, and propaganda crimes. According to the BKA, the majority – almost 60 percent – of these crimes could not be attributed to right or left groups. According to the information, they were primarily directed against the health system, the state, its facilities and symbols, against the police and against “other political opponents”.

“With the end of the pandemic, the” lateral thinking “movement and those against vaccinations will certainly lose importance, but radical people on the far-right spectrum can be expected to remain networked,” said Irene Mihalic, politician. of the Green Party. . The security authorities should not make the same mistakes as with the so-called Reichsbürgern and should “not recognize the obvious antisemitism and far-right ideological elements from the spectrum of” lateral thinking “.

Compared to the previous year, the number of crimes against state institutions and symbols, civil servants and elected officials has more than doubled. This is partly due to the fact that those affected more often reported to the police after such acts, said BKA chairman Holger Münch.

The police only noted a decrease in crimes committed on the basis of a foreign ideology, such as the thinking of the Kurdish PKK. Here the number fell by about 44 percent to 1016 crimes, probably also because large gatherings were not approved due to the pandemic. There was no decrease in the number of crimes committed by followers of a religious ideology – especially Islamism. Here, the number of crimes has risen by about 12 percent – to 477 cases.

Source: BKA