Crime statistics 2022: More and more minors are suspects – also because of a change in the law

Crime statistics 2022: More and more minors are suspects – also because of a change in the law

According to police crime statistics, significantly more crimes were committed in 2022 than in the previous year. The increase in children and young people was particularly strong.

The number of children and young people among the suspects in Germany has risen drastically: by more than a third to almost 93,100 suspected minors. This significantly exceeded the level of the previous year, which was still heavily influenced by Corona. In 2022, due in part to the admission of refugees from Ukraine, more minors were living in Germany than in the previous year.

The number of juvenile suspects, i.e. aged 14 and over, rose last year by around 22 percent to around 189,000 suspects compared to the previous year. In the case of foreign suspects between the ages of 14 and 18, there were even around 50 percent more than in 2021. There was already an increase in criminal offenses among suspected non-German young people in connection with the so-called refugee crisis of 2015 and 2016, says BKA- President Holger Munch. After a few years, however, the numbers went back to the previous level. That is now “conceivable and more likely”. That is why the very negative trend at first glance is not automatically alarming.

Trend leads to more criminal offenses by young people

But there is another explanation for this negative trend: The proportion of underage suspects in the “distribution of pornographic writings” is very high at around 41 percent. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), this is due to the fact that children and young people often share inappropriate pictures in group chats on Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat or other channels without knowing that this is a criminal offence.

In 2021, the law against child pornography was tightened. At that time, the dissemination, possession and acquisition of images of sexualized violence against children and young people were classified as a crime. In practice, this has meant that students are now also liable to prosecution if they receive a corresponding picture and do not delete it immediately. This also applies to parents who forward such a recording to a teacher to draw their attention to the inappropriate content in the student chat.

Children tend to shoplift

Münch points out, however, that the crimes committed by children are predominantly shoplifting, property damage, insults or minor physical harm.

Münch says that economic aspects such as a lack of money in the family as a result of inflation could also play a role. Due to the immigration of refugees, there are currently many children and young people in Germany who would have experienced violence in war zones at a young age. Another factor is stress, emphasizes Münch and recalls that minors were hit particularly hard by school closures during the corona pandemic. Children must grow up without violence and in an environment “in which they can also develop and have a real chance of arriving in the meritocracy”.

Police demanded by crime statistics 2022

The police must keep an eye on this development as well as the increase in non-German suspects overall, emphasizes the BKA boss. This must be viewed against the background of the current migration figures. Net immigration to Germany, which was mainly caused by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, reached a high of over 1.4 million people last year – “of course, crime also increases.”

Overall, significantly more crimes were committed and registered by the police in Germany in 2022 than in the previous year. This reverses the positive trend of the past few years. After the number of cases in the five previous years had been lower than in the previous year, it rose by 11.5 percent to around 5.63 million nationwide in 2022. The clear-up rate fell by 1.4 percentage points to 57.3 percent over the same period, according to the crime statistics presented on Thursday.

Significantly more unauthorized entries

The increase in 2022 was particularly strong for pickpocketing, shoplifting, burglaries, white-collar crime and robbery. The fact that the number of criminally relevant violations of the right of residence, the asylum law and the EU freedom of movement law increased is probably related to the significant increase in the number of unauthorized entries. Here, as well as in the case of property crime, the lifting of measures to contain the corona pandemic also plays a role. These measures had made irregular border crossings more difficult. In addition, people in Germany spent more time than usual in their homes in 2020 and 2021. As a result, there were fewer opportunities for pickpockets and burglars.

In terms of violent crime, the police have noticed an increase both compared to the previous year and compared to the pre-Corona year 2019. According to the information, there were around 197,000 cases in 2022, almost 20 percent more cases than in the previous year, almost nine percent more than in 2019.

More attacks on police officers

According to Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD), the fact that the number of physical attacks on law enforcement officers rose by more than eleven percent last year to around 34,200 cases “shows the brutality that exists in our society”. The current chairwoman of the Conference of Interior Ministers (IMK), Berlin’s Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD), promised that the IMK would deal with it again. It’s about harsh penalties, but also about appropriate protective equipment.

The data for 2022 shows that the work for the German security authorities has increased enormously, says the national chairman of the police union (GdP), Jochen Kopelke. In view of staff gaps, equipment deficits and digital networking, which is still very sluggish, there is an urgent need for action.

Opposition criticizes Interior Minister Faeser

“We can see the areas in which we need to act,” says Interior Minister Faeser. Nevertheless, the following still applies: “We are a strong constitutional state and a safe country.” A look at the long-term development also shows this. Ten years ago, crime was higher at almost 6 million crimes.

The fact that the number of criminal offenses has now “really skyrocketed” has nothing to do with the federal government alone, admits the deputy chairwoman of the Union faction, Andrea Lindholz. Nevertheless, Germany became more insecure in the first year of the traffic light government. The CSU politician therefore demanded that Faeser present concrete proposals as to how she wanted to stop this development.

Further source:.

Source: Stern

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